College

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.

52 Weeks to College: Week 26 — Prioritize

Happy holidays! It's a big week for lots of reasons, and no doubt you want to put your college applications out of your mind during your school break. But now is not the time to lose your momentum. This week we'll focus on three skills that matter not just for your college applications, but for other parts of your life as well.

Week 26 To-Dos

Every Week

  • Check your email, voicemail, texts, and snail mail for any communications that relate to applying to college.

52 Weeks to College: Week 25 — Submitting Your Regular Decision Applications

Now that your early applications are out of the way, it's time to turn to your regular decision applications (assuming you're not accepting an early offer, in which case... congratulations!).

Week 25 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.

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.

52 Weeks to College: Week 23 — How to Handle Deferrals

If you submitted early applications, you should be seeing some decisions roll in. You probably already have a good handle on what it means to be accepted or denied, but what if your application gets "deferred"? Below are our top tips for giving your deferred application the most punch.

Week 23 To-Dos

Every Week

  • Check your email, voicemail, texts, and snail mail for any communications that relate to applying to college.

52 Weeks to College: Week 22 — Prepare to Be Contacted

Once you have submitted your applications, be aware that admissions officers or others related to the college admissions process might actually contact you! Here are some good habits that will serve you well throughout the process (and beyond).

Week 22 To-Dos

Every Week

  • Check your email, voicemail, texts, and snail mail for any communications that relate to applying to college.

52 Weeks to College: Week 20 — Following Up On Your Submitted Applications

Hitting the "submit" button doesn't mean you're done just yet. This week is all about learning how to follow up on your applications after you've submitted them — a very important step!

Week 20 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.

New York Times Op-Ed on Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day! As some of you already know, I also help run a non-profit called Service to School, which provides free application help to veterans. Our goal is to help veterans get into the very best colleges and graduate schools as they transition into civilian life and navigate the sometimes strange world of higher ed. 

Today, one of my S2S colleagues and I have an op-ed in the New York Times on the subject of veterans' education, the G.

52 Weeks to College: Week 19 — Scholarships

If you submitted your early applications last week, CONGRATULATIONS! That's huge. This week, we'll focus mainly on money, because wherever you get in, you'll want to find a way to pay for it!

Week 19 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.

52 Weeks to College: Week 18 — Submitting Your Application

AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH! Ready to hit the submit button? Excellent. Below are three things to remember on this happy day.

Week 18 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.

52 Weeks to College: Week 16 — Non-Essay Parts of the Application

With all that essay work behind you, you may be tempted to think that you're basically done. Almost. Remember that every single part of your application matters, so before you hit that submit button, double-check that you've made the best use of the non-essay parts of the application forms as well. We have a bunch of tips below to help you do that.

Week 16 To-Dos

Every Week

  • Check your email, voicemail, texts, and snail mail for any communications that relate to applying to college.

52 Weeks to College: Week 14 — 'Why College X' Essays

Most college applications ask you to write some version of a "Why College X" essay. Here are some examples:

  • Please tell us what you find most appealing about Columbia and why.
  • Given your interests, values, and goals, explain why Oberlin College will help you grow (as a student and a person) during your undergraduate years. 

Most of these types of questions suggest an answer in the short-answer range (250-300 words), while others allow for an answer that's as long as the personal essay (250-500 words.

52 Weeks to College: Week 13 — Short Answer Questions

A typical short answer question looks something like this:

Please briefly tell us more about one of your extracurricular activities or a volunteer or work experience. (1,000 characters or less)

We define a short answer question as any question that you are asked to answer in 100-300 words or up to 1,000 characters.

52 Weeks to College — Week 12: Really Short Answers

 

This week we're sharing tips and tricks specifically around the questions on the Common Application (or any other college application) that require really short answers. We're defining that as an answer not much longer than a text message, tweet, or Facebook post. You should be able to own these — they are tailor-made for your generation!

But approaching these questions can feel tricky for many applicants.