Completing College and University Applications

When admissions fever infects high schools, it's easy to become a casualty of stress, anxiety and panic. Let preparation be your vaccine.

You've narrowed down the massive list of school choices to a select few to which you want to apply. Hard as it was, the filtering process probably felt pretty good because you knew what you were looking for and made the final decisions.

Now it's time for the filter to be turned inside out. You did your screening; now admissions officers get to do theirs. And you're on the initial list of choices. The trick is making it through to the final "accepted" list.

Even though the admissions board will be making the final judgment, you're by no means in a passive situation. There's a lot of work to be done and details to consider so that you can plead your best case.

Once you figure out your plan of attack, you'll have developed immunity to that agonizing admissions fever.

"What you don't know or notice can hurt you big time," says Peter Cowley, head of an education resource.

"Just ask all the students hanging out at student services in September fixing details that should have been finished the previous April. Look, be calm, be organized. That way, you can enjoy the prom and still get into the school of your choice!"

We'll let you know how and when to get your materials as well as what you have to remember when you send them off. We'll also give you advice on what to do when that all-important decision letter lands in your mailbox.

Learning Goals

At the completion of all of the segments of this article, you should be able to:

  • Approach the entire admissions process with a clearer idea of what it takes to get admitted to the school of your choice
  • Know how to get the process rolling and why organization is key
  • List all the materials in the admissions folder and apply the suggested tips and advice to each document or situation
  • Remember what needs to be done when you send your package, when you're waiting for the envelope and when you finally get a response
  • Refer to the resource lists to get more detail about parts of the application process