For most seniors, college applications will be complete and in the mail by the end of this month and the long, sometimes arduous, hopefully rewarding process of applying will be finished. Almost. While the lion's share of the work is done, there are still some important details to attend to.
For most seniors, college applications will be complete and in the mail by the end of this month and the long, sometimes arduous, hopefully rewarding process of applying will be finished. Almost.
While the lion's share of the work is done, there are still some important details to attend to.
First and foremost, remember that you are not "in" college until you walk through the doors on the first day of school. To make sure that accepted students remain focused on their academics and keep working to their best abilities, college acceptances are made with a contingency -- if the student's grades decline appreciably, the school reserves the right to rescind their offer of admission.
Colleges also retain the right to rescind admissions offers to students who engage in serious misconduct, either in or out of school. So, while spring events tailored especially for seniors are certainly a hard-earned privilege and a special time for graduating students to savor their last few months of high school, students need to continue to be on their best behavior.
For those seniors who have been placed on wait-lists at their first choice school, this is not a time to be passive and take the "wait and see" approach. Wait-listed students need to be strong advocates for themselves. It is important to be in contact with the admissions office to let them know that their school remains your first pick. Begin by writing a letter explaining why this college is the best match for you. You may want to follow up by making a call to the admissions office to verbally state your case. Guidance counselors can also be solicited for help to make a phone call or write a letter on your behalf.
Finally, you should also send news of any positive changes in your status. If you were just elected captain of the volleyball team, made district chorus or landed an amazing internship, let the admissions office know! The fact that you are still taking on challenges and enjoying new successes will speak strongly of your work ethic.
If you have been accepted early and know what school you want to attend, it is ethically appropriate to call all the other schools to which you have applied to withdraw your application, even if they haven't given you an answer yet. The sooner you let them know of your change in status, the sooner they will be able to give that acceptance to another student.
Finally, there are some administrative details that must be attended to. Be sure that your guidance office has the forms they need to send off your mid-year reports to colleges. For those applying for financial aid, it's time to file taxes and complete FAFSA forms. Be sure that you know your college's financial aid deadlines, and don't miss them.
Congratulations, seniors on the completion of your college process. But remember, there are a few details left to attend to -- besides waiting for the mail to arrive!
Tim Lee and Allison Matlack are educational consultants at AHP Educational Consulting in Sudbury, Mass. For more than 30 years, AHP has guided students through the college search and application process. For more information, call 978-443-0055 or visit www.ahpeducationalconsulting.com.