Behind on Your College Apps? You’re Not Alone
If you feel behind on your college applications this semester, you’re not the only one. 47% of all high school seniors have not started applying to college yet, according to a survey by Niche and Tudor Collegiate Strategies.
Review Your School List
If you’ve recently realized that your college applications are falling by the wayside, the first thing you should do is re-evaluate the schools on your best-fit list. Make sure that you’re updated and informed on the deadlines and application requirements for each college. You may also wish to reassess your choices and make sure you’re truly passionate about each. If there’s a school on your list that you’re currently on the fence about, it may be best to forgo that application to focus on a balanced selection of choices that you are truly passionate about.
Create a Plan of Action
Once you’ve refined your list and reflected on your interests, it’s time to take action. Start by working on the applications for colleges with the most imminent deadlines. Create a schedule to hold yourself accountable and aim to set aside several hours each day to work on your applications. Strive to cross some of the biggest items off of your to-do list first, such as writing your personal statement or supplemental essays. Once you’ve completed a few major tasks, you will feel encouraged to keep working through the items on your to-do list.
It’s important to set realistic goals and expectations for yourself, particularly when you’re in a time crunch. Don’t plan on finishing your personal statement in one day or working through all of your applications during a single weekend. Remember that putting together compelling college applications takes time and self-reflection, so strive to pencil in as much time as possible to work on every application component. If you truly feel overwhelmed by the number of tasks on your to-do list, it may be time to consider taking a brief step back from some of your social and recreational engagements to give yourself extra time.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Avoid negative self-talk or punishing thoughts about not getting started sooner. Particularly for seniors in 2020, the college admissions cycle has been marked with disruptions and significant changes that may have made starting your applications more challenging. Instead of fixating on what you should’ve done in the past, focus on what you can do now to make the situation better for the future. Staying positive will help you work through your to-do list more efficiently and make the most of the situation that you are in.
As many high school seniors already know, there have been several significant changes to the application process this year due to the ongoing pandemic. Continue to keep tabs on each school on your best-fit list to learn about any new updates that are announced. Some colleges recently extended their early application deadlines, so it never hurts to look out for similar extensions or application changes for the regular round process.
Although it may feel stressful to think about application deadlines that are approaching, it’s important to be proactive and create a strategy that will help you make up for any lost time. If you are currently preparing to apply to college and looking for additional insight, our team of college admissions experts can point you in the right direction.