Here’s some great advice from Rachel Montpelier at !
We are in the middle of October and you should aim to get your college applications done and sent out around Thanksgiving. Here is a list of what you might need to know about, and still need to include in your application:
1. Knowledge of Common Application or alternate
Find out whether your school accepts the Common App or requires a different, personal application.
2. Knowledge of early action, early decision or regular decision deadlines
Find out the difference between the three, decide which deadline you want to stick with and turn in your application on time.
3. Letter(s) of recommendation
Include one to three recommendations. Start reminding your teachers now because they are notorious for not getting them back to you for weeks and weeks.
4. Application fees or waivers
Make sure to include a check or other form of payment for your application. If you have a fee waiver from a tour or interview, send that instead.
This list of your past courses and grades must be official, sealed and stamped by the guidance office. Again, get these squared away early.
Aim for an essay about two pages long that will respond to one of the prompts included on the application form.
7. Test scores (SAT, ACT, AP, etc.)
Use the SAT/College Board and ACT codes to have your score reports sent directly to your selected colleges. If any of your schools are test-optional, make sure the scores will make you look good.
8. Transcripts/grades/proof of enrollment for any college credit classes
Send these to the admissions counselors to prove you are a good student and to ensure that these credits transfer.
9. Portfolio (if needed/requested)
Portfolios are usually, but not always, required from potential art students. A collection of your past work is an indicator of what kind of student you are and will be in college.
10. Any supplemental materials
Find out if there are any extra questionnaires, surveys or forms that you need to fill out and include in your application. Different schools have different requirements.
Yup, it’s a long list. Start working on it now and aim to complete a couple of tasks each week. That way, you can enjoy turkey day festivities without panicking about finishing your applications. I spent my Thanksgiving break hanging with my family and reading, done with my applications and totally relieved. If you follow this list, you will be the same way.
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