Five Things to Check Before Submitting College Applications


With the first semester almost under the belts of seniors across the country, the college application process is coming to a close. Deadlines are quickly approaching and it is easy to become completely overwhelmed by last minute application tid-bits. Here are some important key points to keep in mind and double check before submitting your applications.

Did You Say Essays?

Probably the most difficult aspect of completing your college applications is getting your personal statements, insight questions, and any other essay material the best it could be. The more common essays applicants have seen are the UC personal insight questions, and the Common Application personal statements. Before submitting these writing materials, make sure that these essays have been revised and edited multiple times, showcasing the most positive aspects of yourself to the college admissions.

Keep in mind that different colleges require different writing supplements. The UC, or University of California, system requires applicants to submit four out of the eight writing prompts, and the Common Application requires just one personal statement essay. In some cases, colleges may request more than just the standard, required essays. For example, colleges on the Common App, (like Chapman University and New York University just to name a few) require a writing supplement that is uniquely tailored for their school. Research the colleges you are applying to, and make sure you do not miss any additional supplement essays or questions that are specific to that college.

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Reminding Recommenders

By now, if you are applying to private universities or other colleges that require letters of recommendations, then you should have already asked your teachers, adviser, and counselors for their time and help. The adults writing your letters of recommendations have their own lives happening too, and most likely have a list of several students who need letters also. During this process, it is crucial that you continuously check up on your recommenders and remind them of any deadlines coming up and other important factors of your application they may need to look at. I suggest that you set a designated time before the applications are due to sit down, and talk to your recommenders about not only their letters, but the application as a whole as well. Help them through the Common App site if they are having trouble, and seek their pair of eyes to look over your application one more time before submitting it. Your teachers and advisers understand that this is a stressful time, but if you work together you will get that application in hot and ready!

Of Test Scores and Transcripts

Next to essays and letters of recommendations, submitting your official test scores and school grades come in a hard third place. Although these may not be at the top of your list (especially with those daunting essays in your mind) these are nonetheless just as important. Official test scores, the SAT and ACT, are serious requirements for most, if not all, colleges around the nation and even the world. Look at the requirements at each of your schools, if they request a certain test or not, and make sure that the scores are submitted.

Your official high school transcripts should be taken care of by your school counselor, but it doesn’t hurt to remind them and make sure that they will submit that as well. On the other hand, applications require you to manually type in your transcript and the grades you have earned in the classes you have taken. Double check that section of your application and watch out for any grading mistakes or missing courses. Colleges will match your official transcript to what you typed in the application, and you do not want a little mistake to be mistaken as a lie.


Proofread Like a Boss!

When you think that you are ready to turn in your application, think again! Edit and proofread every section of your application, despite how little or insignificant you think it may be. Your computer is a robot and won’t catch the human mistakes you make, such as repeating a word or phrase and misspelling an acronym or abbreviation. The best way to get the greatest result is printing your application and reviewing it without that electronic screen. Your eyes will see more without the bright lights from your computer, and you won’t accidentally click “submit” instead of “back.”

The More the Merrier

Whether it is two o’clock in the morning or two o’clock in the afternoon, you never know what kind of evil games your mind or eyes are playing on you. Having another pair of eyes, or even a handful more, will catch more mistakes than you ever will on your application. Get your friends, family members, coaches, teachers, anyone to spare no more than maybe fifteen minutes reading over your application and checking for any errors you may have missed. In addition to that, have an English teacher review your essays to give meaningful insight and advice on how to improve it, and of course check for any misspelled words and awkward phrases in your writing.

There is only a few weeks (and less than two months for those Common App peeps) to submit your applications and hope for the best. The best applications are the ones that are completed fully, so don’t forget to have your apps and essays edited multiple times by different sets of eyes. I myself am in the midst of finishing up and submitting my first batch of applications. The most helpful key point I can factor out is to stay calm and organized until the very end of application season. Best of luck to all my seniors out there!



Why You Should Consider an All Women's College


Prospective students often overlook many of the options they have for their higher education, and one of the options that are overlooked the most often is an all women’s colleges. Many will crinkle their noses at the thought of a women’s college. But there’s so much more to women’s colleges than what meets the eye. guys.jpg

Boys? No problem. One of the major concerns that make people turn away from women’s colleges is the idea that you will not encounter men. False. No matter where you are in the world, you are bound to run into them! A portion of the faculty is likely to be male, and the environment around you will be filled with men as well. Barnard College, for example, is located in the heart of New York City, so of course there will be men everywhere. Plus, Barnard College is in a partnership with Columbia University (which is right across the street!) where Barnard students and Columbia students will often share classes and facilities.

The Setting There is no experience that can be compared to being surrounded by bright, empowering, motivated young women. Being surrounded by powerful women who create their own success is likely to have a positive impact on you. In women’s colleges, each woman inspires another, creating a positive change. It creates a sisterhood and tight-knit student and alumni network unlike any other. It’s uplifting and motivating to know that you’re attending the same school as powerful women of the past, present, and future.


Confidence in Check

At any women’s college, women are encouraged to dominate. There is no more being the bashful one who knows the right answer but just doesn’t say it. Peers and professors push students to rise to high expectations and achieve. There have been published findings that associate all women classrooms with more active participation. With this push as well as support from fellow women, attending a women’s college will boost your confidence. Women’s colleges develop the strong and unapologetic women that become leaders. Bryn Mawr College celebrates its “bold vision, for women, for the world” which reflects the empowering ideas that these colleges hold for their students.

Small Student Populations Most women’s colleges have an enrollment between 1,000 and 2,000 full time students. These tiny communities enable each college to develop a close network of women who support each other. These populations also mean that the class sizes are likely to be smaller and more personal, adding to the experience. You will be able to form lasting bonds with women who will stand by you. As a junior in high school, I have been looking into attending an all women’s school quite a bit after I visited Barnard College. I fell in love with this school and its idea of having their women ‘major in unafraid.’ I’d never heard of anything like it, and it drew me in. Even the interest in women’s colleges has driven me to empower myself with knowledge and the great opportunities that await me. I hope that the negative stereotypes of women’s colleges fade and give way to the truth and light of the successful women who rise from these colleges. I encourage every girl out there to look into women’s colleges and see if the fit is right, because this opportunity is huge!