52 Weeks to College: Week 27 — Get Ready for Submission Crunch Time

If you put together a good action plan this week, you won't be caught flat-footed the day your applications are due. Natural disasters and man-made catastrophes tend to happen exactly when you can least afford them. You can and should plan ahead, because the universe has a funny way of messing with us when we're rushing to meet important deadlines. We've been there!

Week 27 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 

  • Interview with your regular decision schools.
  • If you will be applying for financial aid, start work on your FAFSA.

Tips & Tricks

1. Expect things to go wrong. Save and back up all your work. Often! Avoid peak hours for submitting your applications — that's when servers like to crash.

2. Have a Plan B and Plan C before you need them. Especially because so many people are traveling this time of year, make sure you know ahead of time where and when you'll have internet access. Know what email addresses you need for various schools and third parties. Look up FedEx drop-off locations.

3. Get help from your help desk. Who are the people who have been helping and supporting you while you're applying? That's your help desk. Know how to reach them, and give them the heads up that this is crunch time and you may need to reach out to them. Also know how to get in touch with the Common Application help desk, and expect them to be in high demand this time of year.

You can read more tips for submission logistics in chapter 22 of our book

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.