Final Call: Getting your U.S. college applications in!
By Tina Wu | Admissions Counselor, Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions
To all high school seniors who are first year applicants to U.S. colleges:
October, this might be the busiest month of your life. Hopefully you’ve already shortlisted your list of colleges and decided on your Early Decision (ED) or Early Action (EA) school(s) by now. It is common for ED/ EA deadline to fall on Nov 1st or Nov 15th, so October is the crucial month for you to get all the final components ready. A few tips on what you need to achieve by end of this month:
1) Your Essays for Early Applications:
- By now, you should already have the drafts for your main essay as well as supplement essays. This is the time to revise, revise and revise! Have someone (your admissions counselor or a teacher) read your final drafts before you submit.
- There’s no room for grammatical errors!
- The final version of your essays should be spell-checked and save on a word document. Only copy and paste the essays onto your portal when you’re 100% happy with your work (no changes here thereafter). Make sure the margins and fonts are consistent once you have pasted your work on the portal.
2) Counselors and Recommenders:
- By now, your school counselors and recommenders should know where you are applying early to. Be sure to remind them of your deadlines and have your recommendations, transcripts or supporting documents submitted before the deadline.
- Send a thank you note to your counselors and recommenders for their hard work!
3) Standardized Testing (last chance!):
- For some of you, October is the last SAT/ACT attempt for your early applications. So, do your best!
- You must submit the scores in officially. For example, if you are taking the Oct 5th SAT this year, your verbal and reading score will be released on Oct 18th (essay score to be released on Oct 21th). If you are happy with your score, send the official scores to colleges via College Board. At the same time, please self-report your score on the portal.
4) Completing your Common Application (or other portals):
- Lastly, complete your common application (or other portals you are using). This is the most important step. Triple-check everything before you submit button.
- Please DON’T wait until 11:59pm on Oct 31st to submit for your Nov 1st. You never know what happens (wifi/laptop could be down!). Submit your application at least a few days in advance.
- Ranging from a minute to within a week after submitting your early applications, you will receive confirmation from the college (s) you have applied to, asking you to log-on to a university-specific portal. Please check this frequently, eventually this will be the portal that the admissions decision comes through!
A note on your Regular applications: Take a few days to relax and celebrate after submitting your early applications (just in time for Halloween celebration!!). But November is not the time to slack off, you still have to work on your Regular Decision (RD) applications.
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Ms. Tina Wu
Member of NACAC
M.B.A., Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)
BSc. In Accounting and Finance, New York University – Stern School of Business
• A passionate mentor to students
• Emphasis on understanding and developing her students’ strengths, positioning their potential to admission office in the best possible light
• Over 10 years of experience in helping students gain admission to top boarding schools and colleges in the U.S.
• Matriculation includes: Cornell University, University of Michigan, NYU, University of Virginia, UCLA and UC Berkeley
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