Getting Organized for the College Application Process, Part 2

Putting all the information together. 

by Anne Vaccaro Brady

Now that you’ve read my previous post, you know the information your senior needs to create his application schedule. Here’s one way to do it.

IMG_0970My kids used Word, but a spreadsheet program like Excel works well, too. After visiting the admissions/application pages on each college’s website to find deadlines and required materials,  they created a schedule that went from earliest to latest deadlines.

Order test scores As soon as the list is set, your student must visit the SATAP,  ACT and IB sites to order scores. A college will not begin looking at a student’s application until all materials are received. You don’t want your teen missing an important deadline because she didn’t order her scores in time.

It can take up to two weeks for test scores to reach colleges. All involve a fee, though depending upon your financial situation, the fees can be waived.  The testing companies  send all scores they have on record for the student.

IMG_0976Print out forms Some colleges still request additional paperwork, like a college prep or teacher recommendation form. Your student should hand this in to the guidance counselor once he’s completed the rest of the application.

The schedule Below is a sample of one entry that shows how a student can build a chart. Plan that your teen will send out two or three applications by each personal deadline, much more can be overwhelming, even if most of his schools use the Common App. Many colleges share the same deadline. Be sure your student shares a copy of this schedule with the guidance counselor.

My Deadline: October 7

Top Choice School #1
College Deadline: November 1

Application (online)

Guidance Counselor:
College prep form
Counselor recommendation
Teacher recommendation

Top Choice School #2
College Deadline: February 1

Application (Common App online)
Top Choice School #2 Common App Supplement
Completed applicant part of:
Teacher Evaluation
School Report (counselor evaluation)
Midyear Report
Final Report

Guidance Counselor:
School Report

Teacher 1:
Teacher Evaluation (online)

Teacher 2:
Teacher Evaluation (online)

Create entries for the remainder of the applications following the above guidelines.

Visit the guidance counselor Once each set of applications is complete, your student must bring the necessary paperwork to her guidance counselor and let him know the apps are done. In a few days, and before the college’s deadline, your teen should follow-up with her counselor to check the status of the evaluations, transcript and other materials.

IMG_0968Track applications Your student should be able to sign in on a college or the Common App website to see the status of his application. Your teen should check on each application regularly until he sees that all materials have been received. Many schools will also email the applicant to say they’ve received everything or point out what’s missing.

Share your thoughts on completing and tracking college applications in the comments section below. 

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