Senior, counselor provide college application advice

Forms should be completed soon, counselor says


Cathedran file photo

English teacher Ms. Laurie O’Brien assists senior Nick Kolosso with his college essay at the college application boot camp last August. The camp alowed seniors to get a head start on their college applications and essay writing. English teachers were available to give advice regarding their college essays.

Madi Tran, Co-Editor-in-Chief

 Three weeks ago a major deadline for passed. Nov. 1 marked the early action deadline for multiple colleges. Many other deadlines are quickly approaching. 

Director of College Counseling Mrs. Anne Katz said, “Many schools have deadlines of Nov. 1 for scholarships and early consideration, but a lot of schools have Nov. 15, Dec. 1, Jan. 1, and some schools will continue to admit through the spring and then its a case-by-case basis after that.”

 The college application process involves multiple steps. “There (are) three parts to most college applications. The actual application, which students complete through the Common App and have to submit and pay for each college individually; their transcripts, which they submit through Naviance; and then their test scores, which they submit through the testing agency,” Katz said. 

“So to have a complete application at a college at a minimum you have to have those three things and then some schools have extra requirements, like recommendation letters, additional essay questions, it depends on the school,” Katz said. 

At this point Katz said she believes seniors should be at a finishing point with their applications. “Ideally (seniors) should be closed to finished or at least having a clear plan to how they’re going to finish their applications. 

If a senior is not finished or at a point of finishing their college applications, Katz suggests that seniors complete them soon. “I would say Jan. 1 is the absolute deadline to have your college apps done, so by the time you come back from Christmas break you should be finished,” Katz said. 

Because extracurriculars can interfere with the application process, mistakes can be made. “(Some errors include): not meeting deadlines, not following directions or answering the question asked, not proofreading answers to questions and not sending in test scores on time.

Since the college application process is tedious, many students have to find a way to balance college with schoolwork, jobs and other extracurriculars that they may be involved in. 

Senior Kennedy Miller is involved in sports and has a job which interferes with the application process.  “I run track and I work at Jimmy John’s,” Miller said. “Track mostly affects my college apps.” 

Though Miller has many activities piled on her plate, she has managed to complete most of her college applications. “I’ve finished my Common App, but not all of my applications, and I’m applying early to most of them,” Miller said. 

In order to ease the stress of applying to college, Katz recommends putting aside time to concentrate on applications. 

“I always recommend picking a time every week where you know you’re going to work on college applications. Maybe it’s Sunday mornings. You always know you’re going to devote two hours to doing your college applications and nothing else. Give yourself permission to not do it the rest of the week. If you really spend that dedicated time to it every week, you’d be surprised how much you get done and how quickly you’ll be finished,” Katz said.

Miller suggests that seniors have a plan when applying to college. “I would say make a list with all your schools and their deadlines and make a checklist so you can knock them out once a day,” Miller said.

Since college applications can be stressful, Katz advises seniors to spend time to de-stress. “Take time to sleep and still do things that are relaxing, so you’re doing some self care and not totally getting overwhelmed and stressed out without the ability to recover,” Katz said. 

Miller and Katz both advise seniors to go to others if they are struggling with any part of their application. 

Katz said, “Seeing your college counselor is Number 1. We will set them on a path towards getting it completed and answer all their questions.”

Miller said, “If you have older siblings, I would definitely go to older siblings or older friends for help, because it’s better to have insight from somebody who has been in the same shoes as you recently.”

For juniors applying next year, Katz and Miller say staring early would be beneficial. “We always say over the summer is best because there’s not as much in your schedule and you’re less stressed and you have more time. We did a college admissions prep this summer for seniors, so that they could get a jump start,” Katz said. 

Miller said,“I would say write your essays and do everything you can during the summer, so that you’re not stressed out during the school year.”