52 Weeks to College: Week 24 — Reviewing Your Next Round of Applications as a Whole

It's time to turn to your regular decision applications (assuming you're are submitting applications for the regular decision deadline).

Week 24 To-Dos

Every Week

  • Check your email, voicemail, texts, and snail mail for any communications that relate to applying to college. Read them and take whatever action is necessary.
  • Update your parents about what you’re doing. This regular communication will work wonders in your relationship with your parents during this stress-filled year.  

This Week 

  • Respond to news from your early applications.
  • Notify and thank you recommenders and interviewers (for interviews you've already done).
  • Interview with colleges.
  • Finalize your 5th scholarship application.
  • Negotiate or appeal your financial aid award, if it's insufficient.
  • Take the ACT.

Tips & Tricks

1. Review your next round of applications as a whole to make sure they convey your story. Remember your story from Week 3? Go pull it up again. Are all the elements of your story coming through when you read your application as a whole? If not, which elements are missing or getting lost? Where can you incorporate them in your application materials?

2. Make simple, easy tweaks. There's still time for you to change up your really short answers, switch out your short answers, and realign your essays.

3. Proofread. We've said it before, and we'll say it again. You should be getting pretty good at proofreading by now.

4. Be smart about negotiating financial aid. Financial aid awards can be appealed or negotiated, but you must be polite and have something to say beyond, "It's not enough." You'll need to make an argument about why their calculations or analysis wasn't appropriate in your case.

You can read more tips for reviewing your application as a whole in chapters 5 and 21 of our bookand you can learn more about financial aid in the excellent companion book Admission Matters.

About the Authors:

Alison Cooper Chisolm heads the college admissions consulting practice at Ivey Consulting. She came to private consulting after working in admissions for more than 10 years at three selective universities (Southern Methodist University, University of Chicago, and Dartmouth College).

Anna Ivey is the former Dean of Admissions at the University of Chicago Law School and founded Ivey Consulting to help college, law school, and MBA applicants navigate the admissions process and make smart choices about higher education.

You can find more college admissions tips in their book How to Prepare a Standout College Application (Wiley 2013), and follow them on Twitter and Facebook

About the 52 Weeks to College Series:

52 Weeks to College is a week-by-week plan for applying to college. It breaks this complex and difficult project down into weekly to-do lists with supporting tips and tricks for getting it all done. Based on the Master Plan for applying to college found in our book, How to Prepare a Standout College Application52 Weeks to College is designed for any applicant who intends to apply to top U.S. colleges. For those of you who are just discovering the 52 Weeks series and want to catch up, click here.