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Frances Wong

Last Minute Tips for the Early College Applicant

Just 1 week left! Seriously, where did time go? We know there’s a lot to get done for your early applications and we want to make it easier for you.

We’ve put together some last minute tips for the early college applicant to make it easier for you to hit “SUBMIT” before November 1st.

1. Check All Requirements

Log into your Common App account and double check that you’ve answered everything in the Question Tab of each school! This is the easy part and doesn’t require much, but it can take up a lot of time. It’s especially important so you don’t miss any hidden short essay questions that are hiding in there. Log into College Board and double check that your scores are being sent to the schools you’re applying early to. Finally, check with your high school that your transcripts and recommendations are being delivered to the right schools.

If it helps, make a checklist of all the things you need to do, and cross them off one by one so you don’t miss anything.

2. Proofread

Now, you can focus on your essays. You’ve probably worked on your essays for the last month, if not longer. Give it to your friends and family – a pair of fresh eyes – to proofread your essay. A nice trick is actually to change the font you’ve been using. The visual change will make you pay more attention and might help you catch silly mistakes you didn’t see before.

3. Tailor Your Supplements

Applying early is different from applying during regular decision. By choosing to apply early, you are expressing an extended interest to the college you’re applying to. So, why out of the 10-15 colleges on your list do you really want to attend this one? I assume you’ve done your research to illustrate this point, but be clear about how this college’s resources, opportunity and community aligns with your interests and aspirations.

4. Having Doubts? Talk to someone

Not sure if the college you’re applying to is the right one for you? Talk to someone about it. Whoever has been the most active supporter during this admission season. For example, your high school counselor could provide a lot of insight on what your next steps should be, or even just to calm you down.

5. Don’t wait until Nov 1st at 11:59PM

I’ve seen my friends do it, and I’ve seen younger mentees wait till the last possible minute to submit their applications. There’s no need to take that risk. You’ve heard of all the stories about people who couldn’t submit their applications due to technical difficulty. Trust me, you don’t want that to be you. So, give yourself a 2-3 day buffer to make sure there are no issues when you do hit “submit”.

6. Take a Break

Alright, you’ve been running non-stop for the last month to get this done. Give yourself a break. Watch a movie, read a book, or just go hang out with your dog. Let yourself unwind and allow yourself to stop thinking about college applications for a second.

7. Get Back to Work

But…don’t get lazy. Giving yourself a break is necessary, but get yourself back on track. While applying early has shown a higher acceptance rate, it’s not a guarantee, especially since you don’t find out your result until December 15th. Start preparing for the rest of your applications the same way, so even when EA/ED results come out, you are prepared.

Want to see more successful examples? AdmitSee has the largest database of successful college application files to help you through the admission season. View full college essays in the context of the rest of their application to better understand how to craft the best version of yours.

Improve your SAT or ACT score, guaranteed. Start your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh SAT Prep or your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh ACT Prep today!

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About Frances Wong

A math major turned growth hacker, Frances has worked in PR and marketing in Hong Kong, New York and San Francisco. ​AdmitSee is her third edtech startup, coming from Course Hero and Purpella.​ Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. ​Fun Fact: ​Frances was a certified and licensed EMT during her time at Georgetown.


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