There’s more to do after you’ve submitted early applications!
1. Continue to connect with the colleges: Besides keeping up with your schools by checking your individual accounts, you may want to visit the Facebook accounts and Twitter feeds that are full of news about the programs, admissions updates, Accepted Candidates Days, etc. for the colleges to which you have applied. You will want to be informed about the schools to which you will ultimately be accepted. Early action schools will continue to give you information that is very important to your ultimate decision-making.
2. If you are accepted Early Decision to a college or university, you must accept the offer (with rare exceptions regarding financial aid issues), withdraw your other applications, and buy the t-shirts and hats. You should also pursue possible scholarship opportunities that are listed for each school on the Common App.
3. If you are accepted Early Action, you may continue to apply regular or rolling decisions. Many schools accept applications through the winter months and even early spring!
4. If you have been deferred:
Be prepared for the possibility that the schools you had counted on might defer your application. Also, you may be accepted to a different campus or you may be offered Spring semester or sophomore year options as well. There will be many decisions to make.
Send additional information to schools that have deferred you. You may want to reach out by email to the admissions officers, thanking them for giving you an additional opportunity to be considered, and indicating that you have new leadership positions, awards, etc. Get some advice about sending information about qualifications and circumstances that you did not include in your original application. Ask if you may send several more recommendations, especially if you did not take advantage of the number of references a school will accept.
If you want to apply to more schools regular decision, rolling decision or Early Decision II:
5. Consider applying to a few more schools that are reasonable choices. Don’t wait until mid or late December to prepare more applications. Once your high school goes on December break, you won’t be able to get in touch with your counselor or teachers if you need information or guidance. Make sure that to inform your teachers that you are applying to more schools so that they can send and even update recommendations through Naviance. If you are allowed, ask some other teachers to send recommendations as well.
6. Ask for optional recommendations, both from teachers and “Other Recommenders.” Some applicants miss the Common App “Other Recommenders” section entirely. Some schools do not allow them, but others will allow as many as ten, including arts teachers, clergy, coaches, a college access counselor, employers, family members, peers and “others.” For each school, click on “Recommenders and FERPA,” scroll down to “Other Recommender,” and follow the directions to “invite” people who can provide insight into you as a candidate and a person. They will receive an email inviting them to provide a user name and password so that they can place their recommendation directly through Common App.
7. Review your activities and honors to update them if that is possible.
8. Take advantage of opportunities to upload a resume or send a link to a URL of a website or a social media presence that features some unique qualifications.
9. Consider reviewing, editing and even replacing your personal essay if you have an idea you wish you had covered in the original essay.
10. If you did not take advantage of the Additional Information option in the writing section of the Common App, consider adding it now. You have up to 650 words to explain circumstances that affected your academic or personal life, give more details about qualifications that you did not discuss adequately in your previous applications, or provide any new information that gives the admissions officers a chance to get to know you better as a candidate.
Last, be sure to keep up your grades, aim for leadership positions, visit and research colleges, and try to enjoy the rest of your senior year!