Early Applications: Making an Application Timeline

As we discussed before, there are four main types of college deadlines, and it is best for a student to apply to the earliest possible deadline that fits his or her application ambitions. A good first step is to determine if a student is going to go the route of early decision at any school. A student can only apply early decision to one school and if accepted into the given school must attend and withdraw all other applications. This type of application is a good route for people who are really set on attending one school but are not concerned with comparing financial aid offers, since a student has to accept the financial aid offered by the binding acceptance. The second step in making an application timeline is to go to the admissions webpage of all the applicant’s schools and find out what early deadlines there are and when. Make sure to read the fine print, like if regular decision is in January but all scholarship applications are due in November, or if honors colleges have separate deadlines. The third step is to make a word document or excel spreadsheet of all the schools on a student’s list and each school’s deadline that best fits a student’s needs. Try to organize them by date and by type of deadline, just in case a student has to mark the type of deadline on their application. By organizing deadlines by date, a student can easily see what they need to be working on and also easily mark off schools in a to-do list fashion as applications are finalized. An application timeline is essential to insuring that all deadlines are met for an applicant’s schools. An application, even a day late, is not considered for admission, and a timeline helps avoid making that grievous error.

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