Super last minute college application guide
As seniors progress through their final year of high school, they will have started an arduous but essential process of applying to college. There are so many unknown factors when it comes to college admissions that most students these days apply to around ten different colleges or universities to ensure success. However, there are a few seniors who haven’t thought about college just yet. Students who want to go to college without taking a gap year after graduation need to start thinking about their college applications immediately. Students can still apply to college right up until the final deadline for admissions, so it’s not too late yet.
1. Sign up for the SAT or ACT
The last chance to take college entrance exams for seniors is in December. They may not even be able to see their scores before they apply but at least they will have taken the exam. Because students in this situation only have one chance to do well on their SAT or ACT, it’s important they purchase a practice book and get started with their test prep right now. Even students who don’t have much time to prepare will be able to work on their test prep skills and learn about universally helpful techniques such as identifying trick answers and process of elimination.
2. Consult a professional
College counselors have all sorts of insider information that’s helpful to seniors applying to college last minute. College counselors will know which schools have rolling deadlines, which accept late applications or are willing to put students on a waiting list, and so on. They can also help students learn about their junior college options and how to transfer to a four-year university after one or two years of community college study. Seniors who are applying to last university minute should make an appointment with their high school college counselor as soon as possible (READ: 5 Things to do Before You Go Away for College).
3. Consider the common application
The typical application is great because it allows students to apply to several colleges at once while essentially only writing one or two essays. For the most part, universities have additional supporting questions or a second essay they want students to fill out, but using the standard application will save a ton of time. There are dozens of colleges currently using the common application so last minute students will still have ample choices.
4. Research deadlines
Students who have decided to apply to college last minute should make sure they research deadlines before they start their process. They should also be realistic about what they will be able to complete within the time they have left. There are usually more things to finish than students originally think so they should have a timeline of what they need to do each day or each week to meet deadlines. If students are having trouble finding the information on their own, they’re encouraged to talk with a college counselor or tutor who can help walk them through this stressful yet important process.
5. Take a virtual tour of campus
At this point in the year, it’s probably too late to take an actual college tour unless the student is visiting their local in-state university. However, students can learn a lot about what life will be like on a particular campus by taking a virtual tour online. Many schools have videos, pictures, and other research materials available so students who are unable to visit in person can get an idea of what goes on around campus. This is a great thing for students to do before they start filling out applications because it helps them eliminate colleges that might not be quite a right fit.
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