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Myka Yamasaki

College Application Season 101

If you are a high school senior, college application season is here! If you’re not, well this will give you a sneak peak for what is in store. Time to get excited like this adorable corgi!


It is October which means you will want to start having a clear idea of which colleges you want to apply to. This means research schools of interest and find out their application requirements. You will also want to make an account with commonapp.org, the website that is the application platform for a large number of colleges in America. Common App makes your life easier because there is a primary form where you fill out your basic information, high school background, and personal statement. This primary form gets sent to all the schools that you apply to through Common App so that you don’t have to write your personal information and extracurricular activities over and over again!


Photo by glee wiki

If you are not applying to schools that use the Common App, go ahead and make an account with whatever platform your college of choice uses. For example, systems like the UC system have their own application website that functions similarly to the Common App. Other colleges may just have their very own application website specific to just their school. Whatever the case is, make sure you are proactive and figure out the correct means of applying to the colleges you are interested in.

In terms of keeping track of all the applications, get a notebook and write down the deadlines for each school. Include specific deadlines for each college’s application deadline, deadline for the writing or art supplements, and financial aid deadlines. If you are lucky, you won’t have a huge number of different deadlines to pay attention to. As a general guideline however, UC schools hold application deadlines the end of November and most other schools hold application deadlines for January 1st.

On a special note, if you plan on applying to a college early decision, the deadline is usually mid-November. If you don’t get in early decision, schools will notify you by mid-December so that you can finish getting your applications together for your backup schools in time for January 1st.

The third most common type of deadline is for schools with “rolling admissions.” This means that the college accepts applications and sends out decisions throughout a set period of time. So a school might say they accept applications from October of your senior year through March of your senior year and you may get a decision from them at any point during that time. Weird… I know, but at least you may hear back from schools before the usual end of March/April period that most schools report back decisions.


The college application process is something new to all of you but nothing you can’t tackle! Hopefully this post helped clarify some aspects of the process and motivated you to get moving on college applications and supplement writing!


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About Myka Yamasaki

Myka will be attending Occidental College (located in Los Angeles) in the fall and is very excited! She is looking forward to reflecting on her high school experience to help others do their best on the SAT/ACT and in college admissions. She loves cats, food, and friends.

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