The process of applying for college can seem like an overwhelming mission, especially for students who do not have siblings or parents who have been through it before. There is no sense sugarcoating the fact that college applications and finance can be frustrating. The numerous forms that students and parents need to fill can drive even the most patient person insane, and the essays and entrance exams are often complicated and time-consuming.
Due to the many steps involved in making a college application, prospective college students need to create a list of things to do as early as possible, preferably before the end of their junior year of high school. Once they can visualize the whole process, including the number of things they need to do and a workable schedule, they will find it easier to meet their objectives. Also it is much more easier to face deadlines with my homework done.
Fortunately, in spite of these challenges, most college applications are successful. According to most admission experts, students should apply to several colleges. Those hoping to join one of the Ivy League institutions may need to fill out between 7 and 12 college applications. In addition to dealing with college applications, paying for college is another intimidating rite of passage.
- What Students Should Know About College Application and Finance
It is important for high school seniors to know the different college application deadlines to choose from and pick the ones that work best for them. The first application deadline is the early decision, or ED deadline, usually in November. Students who use this deadline receive feedback from colleges they applied to earlier than those who sent their applications later.
ED applicants usually receive feedback in December. Early decision acceptances, however, are binding, which means that those accepted must enroll. Prospective college students, therefore, need to be 100 percent sure that the college they applied to use the ED options is the right choice for them. Some colleges also have ED II, which is a second early decision deadline in January. It is also binding to those accepted, and acceptance decisions usually come out in February.
Another type of application deadline is the early action, which often takes place in November or December. The difference between this deadline and the two discussed above is that acceptances are not binding.
Prospective college students also have the option of applying by a college’s regular acceptance deadline. Those who choose this option hear back from their chosen institutions in mid to late March, or even in early April.
The rolling admission is the final type of policy that students need to check out. Colleges with this policy evaluate student applications whenever they receive them and make decisions accordingly, or until there are no more slots in the incoming class. Usually, they do not have a deadline for applications, but some may have a priority filing date.
When determining how many colleges to send applications to, and when to apply, students need to think about any financial aid consequences or implications. If the issue of money is a challenge, students should choose non-binding application deadlines, which will allow them to compare different financial aid packages from multiple colleges.
Not only do parents and students need to think about the huge sums of money involved in college education, but the burden of making complicated financial decisions about student loans often falls on the shoulders of teenagers who lack the knowledge and experience required to manage money efficiently.
Other important components of a college application that students need to provide include:
- Official high school transcript
- Basic personal information
- Letters of recommendation
- Standardized test scores
Nowadays, most colleges do not require applicants to submit a resume. Most of the information contained in a resume appears in other parts of the application form. Therefore, when filling the application, students should include structured details of work experience, awards, extracurricular activities, as well as any family obligations.