by Amy Chau ‘15
It’s that time again.
I’m talking about the time where prospective students take their final SAT, ACT, or TOFEL, fill out college applications and submit their materials to college Admission offices across the country. I know how stressful it can be for students who want to make the Early Decision deadline for their dream schools.
Here are some tips for you:
Mark the deadlines – this is the most important thing EVER! If you don’t make the deadline, you may not qualify for extra scholarships, waived application fees, or many other perks. Try to prioritize your workload so you know when to send in your application. Use a calendar to write down everything from early decision/admission deadlines to deposit fee deadlines. The earlier you send in your application, the earlier the admission office sends out their decision. This will give you ample time to make your final decision. Chatham is SAT/ACT optional, which means you don’t have to send in your SAT/ACT scores if they are not up to your standards!
Check out all the perks – As I mentioned earlier, some schools will waive your application fees if you send in your application early. It doesn’t mean you have to have everything together. You can just send in the completed application first, and then send in the rest of the required materials later. I remember sending my applications in as soon as they were completed and getting all of my fees waived! You can save a great amount of money since application fees can be quite expensive (They can be $30-$70 depending on the college!). For any student having financial problems, you can contact your school’s counselor and ask for a fee waiver. Also, some colleges can automatically qualify you for their scholarships just because you send in your application early. So don’t wait until you have everything – send in what you have!
Send in more rather than less – some schools recommend you send in letters of recommendation, however they are not required. I would still encourage you to send them in because they help admission officers to make a decision on enrollment. Also, letters of recommendation show how great of a student you are and why you would be a great addition to our community. You can ask your academic teachers, coaches, or even your employer! Make sure you choose someone you know well so they can make a personalized recommendation. If you have any portfolio or resume, feel free to send them with your application as well! All the materials you send in are the deciding factors for admission. The more you send in, the more we know about you.
Don’t hesitate – ask any questions you may have. Call or email admission officers, as they are here to guide you through the process. If you have questions about financial aid and scholarships, call the financial aid office. They will try to lift your financial burden off your shoulder by telling you about great scholarship opportunities.
In the end, all I can say is don’t panic! Everyone has gone through this at least once in their lifetime, so don’t worry too much. I always believe that if it’s meant to be, it will happen. Good luck in the college process – I hope you enroll in the school of your choosing and especially hope it’s Chatham!