Don’t Be Fooled
There is a common misconception that once you have submitted all of your college applications, your work is complete. This is not entirely accurate. With each application you submit, you will receive a confirmation from the school that it has been received and you will be alerted if there is anything missing. For example, you may find that one of your letters o f recommendation has not been received, or perhaps your SAT and ACT scores have not arrived. Make a chart with each school that you have applied to so that if they require something further you can note it and speak with your counselor. Do not assume that everything you have requested of your counselor has been taken care of. Most high school counselors are handling many students and things are easily overlooked.
Set Up An Account
In addition, once a school receives an application, you will generally be sent an email with a username and password to an “Application Portal”. You will be expected to log onto this portal on a specific date to learn if you will be accepted or not. It is important to keep these handy and not confuse them! Some of my colleges did not send me a follow up email reminding me to log on using my username and password, so it was essential that I remembered my information. You may organize your chart however you like, but what I did was to write the name of the school, the date I submitted my application and Arts Supplement, the date of my interview and who it was with (if I had one), my username and password for each school portal, and the anticipated decision date and time. Consolidating all of tis information into one easy to read chart will really help.
Note: By entering the anticipated decision date/time in GuidedPath, you will have this information at your fingertips. Consider adding the user name/log in information into your Conversations section for each college. This gives you one place with all information.
And the Envelope Please
And finally, the fun part! The day actually does come when all of your hard work pays off! If the schools you apply to do not have rolling admissions, you will receive the majority of your decisions in mid to late March. You may find that you have several schools to choose from, and what you believed would be an easy decision suddenly becomes complicated. It is, after all, one of the biggest decisions you have probably every had to make! Where do you really want to spend the next four years of your life? Fortunately, there is help. If you are not one hundred percent which school is perfect for you, you have the option to attend the “Admitted Student Days.” These are days which are offered by the college, generally in mid- April, when admitted students are invited to visit the campus, attend classes, eat in the dining hall, speak with professors, and in some cases, spend the night in the dormitory with a current student. This is a great way to really get a feel for campus life.
Note: Be sure to enter your Decisions information into your GuidedPath account. Enter your scholarships and financial aid in as well.
I was admitted to three schools that I was particularly interested in. Two of them were small and in rural settings and one was quite a bit larger and in a major city. I had visited them all during my junior year. I was fortunate in that I had friends or acquaintances attending each one and I was able to talk to them in depth about their experiences. Consider not only the academic curriculum and how it suits you, but also the extracurricular activities and the physical setting. Where do you really see yourself? When I thought about this, there was one school where I could envision myself: listening to lectures in classrooms I visited on my tour, attending a cappella concerts in the evening, and studying late at night by the fire in the center of Schwemm’s Café. Ultimately, I chose to follow my gut. I could have weighed the pros and cons of every detail of each school, but in the end, I felt most at home at Amherst College. I am beyond excited to be heading east to attend in the fall. I hope that my tips, trials and tribulations will be helpful to you!