Pacing Your Final Sprint to College Application Deadlines
CollegeAdvisor Admissions Expert Aliyah shares her insider perspectives on how to organize your time during the height of college applications season.
2021-11-03 Pacing Your Final Sprint to College Application Deadlines
[00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisor’s webinar on pacing your final sprint to college application deadlines. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation, then answer your questions in a live Q and a on the sidebar. You can download the slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q and a tab.
Now let’s meet our.
Hi everyone. My name is Aliyah Turrentine, and I am a CollegeAdvisor for CollegeAdvisor.com. Um, I have a master of education in educational leadership with a concentration in higher ed, as well as the certification and learning design and technology. So what does all of that mean? Basically, I have the ability to be able to work with adults, um, that are going to a college or university.
Um, and I have, um, a [00:01:00] certification to create learning content geared towards adult learners. I also have a bachelor’s degree in Hispanic linguistics and psychology from the university of North Carolina at chapel hill. So goats, heart heals. Um, and that means that I’ve studied the Spanish language. With a little bit of Portuguese, um, in there and some classical enroll, girl, Latin and, uh, psychology.
As we know, it is the study of, um, like our brains and how we think the way that we do. So with all that being said, I hope that I will be able to give an engaging session to you all this evening. Um, I do believe that this session will be, um, recorded. So if you have to leave at any point in time that you can go back and, um, look at the rest of the recording.
Thank you, Leah. All right. Let’s move into our poll for this evening. So our poll is, what [00:02:00] grade are you in? What grade are you in?
All right, so Ms. T when did you, when did you start working on your applications? What grade were you in when you started working on your apps?
So when you say, start working on my apps, that’s a little exploring college. Oh, okay. Thinking about the application process. Oh, well, I started in the seventh grade. Um, we had, uh, a college prep course called avid, which did for advancement via individual determination. And, um, we started our college research learning how to ask critical questions, um, how to work in teams in groups, um, learning time management skills organization, uh, going on your first couple of college tours, by the way, UNC chapel hill was my first, uh, university that I ever visited.
Um, and, um, all that good [00:03:00] stuff. So it starts in middle school, carries you throughout high school and, um, it’s very beneficial. They also help you with your college applications and stuff, too. Um, and there are other people that are wanting to obtain a CA uh, college level degree that are in the class with.
Nice. Well, the messages it’s never too early. So it looks like majority of our participants for this evening are in the 12th grade. Um, but we have a few, we have an eighth grade, we have a ninth grader, then we have other, um, so I will thank you all for participating in our poll. I’ll turn it back over to you.
Thank you. So, um, You want to know what are the two main application timelines? Right. So we’ve got our early action application deadline. So for my 12th graders that are in here today, maybe some of you all applied early action system schools congrats to you. That part of the wave is, uh, almost over, um, this usually occurs during the fall.
So anywhere from October [00:04:00] 15th, November the first, um, some other November dates, and then maybe to like mid December, it depends on the school that you are applying to, but it’s important for you to know the difference between an early action application deadline and a regular decision application deadline.
So, uh, with early applications, um, sometimes schools require any students that are interested in applying to an honors college or to, um, certain scholarships. They require those students to apply early action because you’re a part of the first wave of students that get hit with the grants and scholarships that the schools have.
Um, regular decision application. Deadline is usually January 1st to about early February, early, mid February, um, and occurs during the winter. So colleges and universities usually allow two additional weeks, um, for test scores and official transcripts that come in. So if you didn’t know that, and you’re in the 12th grade on the call tonight, um, write that down because that’s very important [00:05:00] for you to know.
So if you’re stressing about how your counselor hasn’t released your transcript yet, or, you know, navigating that process, you will feel a little bit more at ease knowing that you have about two additional weeks to make sure that that information is sent over. And then if you’ve just tested, um, you know, and your scores aren’t in don’t fret, the schools would get them instilled, include them in your early application deadline or your regular decision application deadline.
So, um, you may be on this call and you’re like, well, what all do I need for my college applications? Right. So I decided to create a little table to help you with that. So you’re going to need a personal essay. Um, the sat test score student portfolio is optional. That’s what the asterix means in this, um, this presentation, supplemental essay questions.
Uh, you’ll have some of those that you need to answer, which may be additional essays at counselor recommendation letter. So if you don’t know who [00:06:00] your counselor is, and you’re an underclassmen, you might want to go and reach out to your counselor and get to know them a little bit so that they have some good things to write about you versus the generic counselor recommendation letter.
Um, based on just what’s in your profile, you know, at the school, you may decide that instead of the sat, you want to take the act, so you’ll need that score. The general, uh, application or honors college application you’ll need your. Scripts teacher recommendation letters. Um, you may need one or two depending on the school, um, activities list, document, or a student resume, a residency application for some students.
I do know that for, um, students that are applying to North Carolina that, um, have North Carolina residency do have to, um, apply for the, uh, RDS through CFNC and then the application fee waiver. If that is something that you qualify for or would like to qualify for in order to pay for your application to be [00:07:00] sent.
Um, I do want to mention out of this list, you know, if you create your activities list, document, it is not a word document with bullets of all of the activities that you’ve ever participated in. Um, I highly recommend that you kind of jazz it up a little bit and look at it as your student resume. So for instance, I was working with a student on Sunday.
And we were working on the activities list because in the common app, that particular school required a document to be submitted. So, um, that document, you know, had her activities on it, but in a way that was consistent with what a resume would look like, um, to show that, you know, she’s been involved in quite a bit, she also works and stuff like that, so that they have a full view of what all you’ve been involved in or why you haven’t been able to be involved because you’re involved in some other stuff like working or, you know, helping take care of your siblings at home.
Um, and, and things like. [00:08:00] The other thing that I want to note on this is that your student portfolio. So, um, that is pretty worrier. It depends on what school you’re applying for and what you’re applying for. So if you’re applying for maybe a musical school or an art school, they may request this. Um, or if you’re applying for an elite school that, um, Requires your work to be displayed in order to gain admitted, uh, in order to be admitted to the school.
Uh that’s when you may need to be working on a student portfolio. And if that is the case, and you’re an underclassmen today, um, I would, you know, when you get off of this call, you may decide to start your search, to see which schools may be requiring a portfolio and leaning on some of the, um, instructors that you have at school to help you with creating this portfolio so that you’re not having to loop it in.
And the senior year when you’re taking your senior classes and also having to, um, complete the rest of your application.[00:09:00]
So, um, some methods that you can use in order to keep track of what you have and have not finished, we’ll be creating a checklist for each of your schools. You can do that, utilizing Google tasks or apple notes for those iPhone users. I’m pretty sure there are some other applications out there. You can also use Excel to help you with, you know, keeping organized and keeping track of things.
You can use your CollegeAdvisor portal. If you have registered CollegeAdvisor, you do not have to be a paid, um, client. I believe that the CollegeAdvisor portal is free. So you can create your account on there and load your applications. It will display the deadlines in there, and lots of good stuff about the different schools, as well as the essay topics and things that they have.
Um, and that’s all free to you. And then the common app, you know, if you go ahead and search all of your schools that are. You know, doing their [00:10:00] applications through the common app, you can utilize the common apps to help keep you organized. It will give you a list of all your schools or your dates, the things that you have and haven’t completed.
Um, if it doesn’t have a green check mark by it, then you did not complete it in its entirety. And then there are some other application portals, like the coalition for college application portal. Um, and I want to say that you see portal. Um, there are some other portals that are out there for when you’re applying to colleges and stuff, and they have a similar system as the ones that I have described.
Um, so organization techniques that can help keep you on top of your workload. I have only one image on here because I swear by. And it is Google calendar. If you all saw on my Google calendar, looks like before I got to college, versus after I got to college to now, you don’t understand how much of a lifesaver it has been.
I even got a notification last night about this webinar [00:11:00] today. Just keeping me on track to make sure that I had all of my ducks in a row. Um, so I highly recommend that you utilize it to put all of your application deadlines on it. Um, as we mentioned before, creating an Excel spreadsheet with the applications in it, the link to the application or to the school, um, important to do list items, deadlines, and overall application materials.
So maybe your spreadsheet is like my title on my college list and you have five. And then you put transcripts, you put, um, the things that were in that table that I’ve talked about, your general application. If you’re applying for the honors college, if there are certain scholarships that you want your application submitted for another student that I was working with, you know, in her general application had asked if, if that student was interested in applying to any of the two scholarships that they had available based on merit.
So if so, maybe that student has some additional things that they needed to turn in with their application. So you want to make sure that you have that [00:12:00] all the way outlined, because if you have any questions, it’s great for you to be able to pull up your Excel spreadsheet and know what you haven’t, haven’t done.
And with what schools you have questions about when you’re meeting with someone, um, putting your personal deadlines too. So if a school says, okay, our early action deadline is November the. Work backwards. Okay. November 1st is when it’s done. I like to have it done maybe by October the 15th, so that I have time to have my application materials looked over.
I can do three different revisions of my essay. Um, I can look deeper into the honors college programs that they have, maybe I’ll connect with some students that have already gone through this process, you know, put those deadlines on your calendar so that you are best prepared and are not scrambling at the last minute.
Um, you can also schedule out times to meet with the people that you need to meet with. And so maybe it’s your advisor, whether that’s through CollegeAdvisor or an advisor that you have on campus, your counselor, um, meeting [00:13:00] with your recommenders. So your teachers senior year. A lot of seniors are going to be asking them for recommendation letters.
So you want to make sure that you have done this early on in the year prior to, um, two weeks out from the deadline that it’s due and connect with them. You know, if it’s, if you’re asking your 11th grade teacher for assistance on writing a recommendation letter for you, then you don’t want to ask them at the last minute and you also don’t want it to be super random.
Like you should go in and maybe hang out with them at lunch or ask how they’re doing navigate a conversation before you just say, Hey, can you do this thing for me? Because they have to carve out time to do it, you know, uh, and make sure that they have good things to write about you, um, when they’re doing it.
So I always recommend that if you have the time, uh, creative resume and submit it with your request to that record, Um, your guardians, you know, and so ask specifically, put guardians here because not all of us live with our biological parents, right? So some of us live with a family [00:14:00] friend, some of us live with an extended family member, um, or somewhere else, or some of us even live by ourselves.
So, um, you may just want to include some additional people in there and then think about yourself. Like you need to read over this information as well. Don’t just send it off and say, okay, I’m going to accept all of their suggestions and then submit an application that you haven’t. Proof-read like, make sure that you have read everything, um, and scheduled time for yourself to meet with yourself about those applications.
I know it sounds weird, but you know, ultimately this is what you’re doing for your.
So, um, and some other ways that you can stay on top of early deadlines while working on later deadlines is that you can prioritize the schools that are based on, um, their deadlines. Right? So if I have my list in my Excel spreadsheet, I may select the whole spreadsheet and then do a specific sort so that everything that’s due on that November [00:15:00] 1st deadline, I can go ahead and start those applications, um, and then chunk your to do’s.
So if you know, every school is going to request the transcript, go ahead and request the transcript. I know in the, um, school that I used to work at, they had a transcript request form. So if you, and you had to submit. For each school individually. So if you’re applying to eight schools, that’s eight different transcript requests forms that you needed to complete.
Go ahead and get those and put those requests in and have those sent over to the school. So you’re going to apply to your test scores, go ahead and have those sent in. You know, if you decide that you’re going to take the sat and not the act, maybe you’ve taken it two or three times and you’re like, I’m not taking the act at this point.
Excuse me, go ahead and just have those scores. Your personal statement, oftentimes, um, the prompts are similar or the same for your personal statement. If you’re applying through common app, I do know that the personal essay [00:16:00] is the same for all of the schools. So if you go ahead and you knock out that essay, you can apply that essay to the other personal essay requests from the other schools, unless they’ve changed the topic.
I know that with, um, go apply Texas. Um, the schools have the option of selecting. I think between three different essays, maybe you prepare three different essays. Um, your resume, you only need like one. So go ahead and knock that out. That’s it to do that. You can cross off your list. You have haven’t ready, whether they are requesting a resume specifically, which I have seen on common app, or if they are requesting an activities list, same thing, your profile questions.
That’s like your background information about where you live and if you’re claiming residency. Yada, yada yada. So, um, I just recommend that you go ahead and you complete that because that’s one less thing that you have to worry about your recommendation letter requests. Maybe you share with them that, which schools that you’re applying for.
[00:17:00] I think that if they write a general letter, you know, it’s not necessarily school specific unless, you know, maybe they’re an alum of the school and they want to talk about how awesome you are and how they believe that you’re a stellar student that deserves, you know, to be on their campus because they know what it takes and you remind them so much of all the different things when their mission value like great.
But you know, if it’s, you know, just the regular recommendation letter about you, about how you deserve to go to school, um, and in general, then I would make sure that you. Have those letters prepared. So, um, I do think that with the common app, there is a FERPA release where you do not have access to your recommendation letter.
They’re just submitting it on your behalf. Um, and I think that when they plug it in for one school that may apply for all of the others, but don’t quote me on that. Um, but yeah, you could go ahead and chunk those to do’s and get them out of the way so [00:18:00] that when it comes down to the actual deadlines right around the corner, maybe you’re just working on those supplemental essays, um, the, or those specific individual questions that the different schools have the ability to ask.
Nice. Um, Ms. T before we go into, um, our poll, uh, what part of the application do you think students should start first? Do you have any suggestions? Um, Hmm, well, You need to make sure that you have a strong college list first. Um, and that’s not something that is highly talks about in this presentation, but your college list is super important and that you’ve done your research and know that, you know, these are the schools that you want to invest your time in and applying to don’t just apply because it was the first school you ever toured don’t apply because it was the first school that ever sent you mail, like actually do research.
There’s no [00:19:00] point in applying to a school that doesn’t offer a major that you’re interested in if you know what you want to study. Um, so I would say that that’s super important. And then from there, I would say, um, studying and doing well on your standardized test scores. I mean your standardized tests for those schools that are not test optional, even if a school is test optional, I still recommend that, you know, if you did a pretty good job, submit those scores, it doesn’t hurt your application.
And they did, most schools do super score, which means that they take the best math and the best reading. Um, and they, uh, give you the best score average out of those. So if I have a five 10 in reading and a five 70 and math the first time, but then the next time I get a five 70 in a reading and a five 10 in no, let let’s say like a five 30 and the other one, then they’re going to take those higher numbers for each section and you’ll have your new score that way.
Um, [00:20:00] And then after that, I would say your recommendation letters are super important. Um, and your activities list. I would, I would say the activities, uh, section is probably worth anywhere between 25 to 30% of your application is super important, um, with your, you know, your essay, your personal essay too.
So I know that was more than what you asked for, but, um, I think it’s helpful for the students that are like, okay, well, yeah, I already have that done. What’s next. Absolutely. No, thank you for answering that. And I was thinking about our 12th graders who are probably getting ready to prepare for the January application deadline.
So just giving them a sense of like, all right, where should I really be starting now? Like right now. So thanks for sharing that. All right. So let’s go into our. Pole. So where are you in the college application process and, you know, while our participants are answering it, you know, tell me a little bit more about starting you started in seventh [00:21:00] grade.
So what if, what if I see you have for our, our eighth grade and we had a, we had an eighth grader that was on here, you know, so our middle school, early high school students. So, um, middle school students, and even like your freshmen and sophomore students, I highly recommend if you have not done so yet to take a career assessment, a career assessment can let you know a lot about, you know, your interest and what different fields that you could potentially go into so that you’re already starting to think about, oh, I need to get this.
If I want to become this or. Um, I’ll tell you my perfect example. So in the psychology field, you can get a bachelor’s degree in psychology, but you can’t go and be a psychologist, a psychiatrist, or a licensed clinical social worker, or any of that with just a bachelor’s degree, you’re going to have to go for higher level education.
Just like if I was a neurosurgeon, I’m not going to operate on your brain with just a bachelor’s degree. Like I need more education. [00:22:00] Right. Um, so it’s important, you know, that you don’t just say, oh, I’m going to go study this thing because my mom or my dad said that this would be really cool for us, or that’s what most people do in my family.
But then you have no junior an interest and you’re stuck and you’re like, okay, well, what am I interested in? So go ahead. And, um, I would highly recommend, you know, you go and take that career assessment and. Then look at your organization and work on your organization skills and your time management.
Those are going to be super important. One because in middle school, you’re preparing yourself for high school and in high school, you’re preparing yourself for college. If college is the route that you want to go. Great. Thank you. So looking at our poll, we have about 6% that haven’t started. 27% are currently in the research phase research in schools, 26% working on their essays, 23%, getting their application materials together, and 18% almost done.
So [00:23:00] congrats to those who are almost done with their college applications. That’s really great almost to the finish line.
By the way I’m totally this way in real life and, um, with my students. So if you’re in need of a CollegeAdvisor and you’d like to be matched with me, please contact admissions. You can, um, read a little bit more about my, about myself and my bio too. Um, if you are in need, so yeah.
All right. So steps that you should take in the last weeks before you submit your application. Oh my God, Ms. T I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing when I’m in the last week before the application is due. I’m so stressed. I’m just pulling my hair out. Right. First thing that I’m going to ask you is, did you take a deep breath today?
Okay. And what was the last time that you read over your applica? [00:24:00] Like Reddit, Reddit, like not skimmed over it, but you read over each individual question, looked at how you responded and everything. Right. So of course, read over your application carefully. I, by the time that you have given it off to someone else, those quick typos and your name should already, like, nobody needs to know that you misspelled your name at that point because you read over your application.
Right? Right. Um, so write down questions that you feel hesitant to respond to, um, having an adult review your application materials after you have read them, um, engage with the admissions office. Ask questions about the major or majors that you’re interested in. Um, can they help connect you with some professors or some alum or some current students?
Um, will they have an open house that you can attend soon? You know, so that you can go into where the campus get familiar, meet some other people that are also [00:25:00] interested in potentially joining the campus by attending open house. If you meet someone else that gets accepted, when you’ve gotten accepted, you might have a roommate match just saying, um, do something fun for yourself.
Also, you know, like, yes, you have college applications that are due, but self care is always on the priority list, right? So if you haven’t slept because you’re taking all these AP courses and you are working on these college applications and you come to me in a frantic and you’ve got bags under your eyes, and I can tell that you have not slept and I’m going to say, okay, go take a nap and then hit me back.
Okay, because obviously you, you need some rest. I need you to calm down. It’s not good for your body. You’re saying no overnighters. That’s not encouraged. I’m not saying no overnighters. But what I am saying is that if you have a lot of overnighters, you need to rest. Um, I am not one that will tell you that you will probably never have an overnighter.
Um, I feel like I’d be doing you a disservice because I pulled some overnighters and my [00:26:00] time. Okay. At this point I do not do overnighters anymore. Um, so. I think that you don’t have to lean on having overnighters. If you plan accordingly, though, I will say if you plan your things out, if you backwards playing, you know, a deadline well enough in advance, you can backwards plan so that you don’t have any overnighters.
Um, on the college application side. Now school, your classes are still first, so you cannot let your grades slip because they may ask for a midyear report. Um, and if you’re like, ah, I’m a senior, I’m a bomb this class because I don’t care. I’m the coolest kid around, or I’m just so tired. I didn’t got into college already.
Like I know I’m going because my junior GPA is the bomb.com. Let me tell you those admissions officers, officers will resend that, uh, rescind that acceptance in a heartbeat after they see those grades. Okay. So make sure that you’re still pouring in. All that you can plus senior years, the last year that you can [00:27:00] boost that GPA.
Maybe you applied early action to a couple of schools, but you’re doing regular decision for others because you want them to see the better GPA that you have because you’re taking those, um, dual enrollment courses or those AP courses or those honors courses, or just some, you know, a couple of classes that, you know, you’ll be able to get that easy.
A and that you’re interested in. Don’t just take classes to take them because you’re not interested in them. And don’t just take PE in all different variations to say you had a full course load. I’m pretty sure your counselor would catch that anyway, but just saying, um, Work on your honors college applications, as well as your scholarships.
Okay. Um, maybe you’re already done with those applications and you’re just waiting around for feedback. Okay. Well, after you’ve taken that nap that you needed for yourself here or whatever it is she needed to do, um, I know for me, myself here is going to get my nails done, but, um, it looks different for everybody.
So I will be working on my scholarships if I don’t plan to apply to an honors college, or if I’ve already done it. Okay. Because [00:28:00] I don’t know about you all, but mom did not have an additional $50,000 sitting around to pay for my four years at school. She just didn’t. Um, but you know, you need to ask yourself, are there any specific scholarships that you need to apply to during this time?
And are you interested in the honors college? Is there a separate application? Sometimes there’ll be an honors college available, but it’s not in the application in the general application. That is so you need to do a little bit of research. Research is going to become your best friend. If you start now, it will carry you throughout.
Undergrad. I promise you, um, and then engage with active students on social media. I know that during this time, a lot of times, um, schools will like hold raffles and stuff and send you free swag. Um, and by swag, I mean like maybe headphones, um, what are some other cool things I’ve done in the past? Like agendas with like the school logos and stuff.
T-shirts umbrellas, um, stylus pins, the [00:29:00] pop sockets for the back of your bones. They send all kinds of cool stuff. Okay. So engage with them, follow them on their Facebook, their Instagram, Twitter, talk to almost at top tick, but tick tock and all that good jazz.
So two days before you have to submit your application, review your checklist to make sure everything is done, please. Go back to that document that you poured all that time into creating to check your checklist, because I would hate for you to come to your checklist and everything is done, but the request to a recommender to do a recommendation letter, like that’s the worst to have to go to somebody and say, Hey, like I know it’s 48 hours before it’s due, but, uh, do you think you could pour your heart and time into writing me a letter of recommendation, especially a teacher.
Okay. This already has lesson plans and all of the other students that they’re writing their recommendation letters for. Okay. So just don’t do it, [00:30:00] make sure that you check your, your, your checklist out, um, review your application either additional time. Read it. Allow I can ask stress this enough. Read your essay aloud.
Okay. Nine times out of 10, you are going to find mistakes that nobody else called that looked over your, your essay or maybe something sounds a little funkier. It doesn’t sound like you and you need to go and correct it. Read it aloud. It’s different than when you’re just reading, you know, with that. Well, it’s just different when you don’t read aloud, um, and then reach out to recommenders.
So ensure that your recommendation letters have been submitted and ensure that they have plenty to say about you. So maybe that recommender is like, okay, well, I’ll, I’m fine with doing it, but I don’t know what you’ve been doing the past two years. Like, can you give me some, some information? What do you want me to put in here?
You know, maybe you have a specific major interest and they can talk about how you built a, a robot for a project that you had in their class or something express gratitude. I cannot [00:31:00] stress this enough. Expressing gratitude is going to get you so far and it’s going to make people want to do things for you.
So express gratitude to those that have helped you with your applications. So a genuine, thank you note card or an email is always a kind gesture, you know, where you’ve taken time out to just say, thank you so much for pouring into me and my future. I really appreciate it because they didn’t have. But they chose to because you asked, um, and relax, like it’s 48 hours, you know, like it’s the best that it can be at this point.
Like there’s no point in going back and changing everything in the last 48 hours because you’re worried, relax. It’s going to be okay. Like so many people have been where you are. It’s okay. And then I really liked this photo. It says gratitude changes, everything, which I do believe so. Yeah.
So how can you pace yourself throughout the [00:32:00] process? Plan ahead. With room for flexibility because things happen. Um, maybe you were planning to work on your essay a certain weekend and your grandparents came into town and they wanted to do all this fun stuff with you. So just playing with some room, you know, when you’re putting those debts, those personal deadlines for your application stuff, playing with some flexibility and some room, okay.
Communicate with your advisor so that they can assist you. We don’t know what you need until you communicate with us. We can’t, we don’t know like what you’re missing in your applications, what questions you have or anything. So please make sure that you communicate, communicate, communicate, utilize your calendar, set notifications on your tech technological device.
Technology devices. I have all kinds of notifications on here. Okay. Like my life lives on here in terms of notifying me when I have meetings presentations, when I’m meeting with students, um, when I’m supposed to be at the doctor, when my dog’s supposed to be at the doctor, like all kinds of stuff, when people are coming into [00:33:00] town, when you know, the next concert is for those of you that are, you know, going to some concerts these days and engage your family to help you along the process, maybe you all have a family calendar, or maybe you need a reminder, like, Hey mom, can you wake me up at 10:00 PM so that I can do the final read on this or so that I can make sure that I checked this off?
Or can you wake me up at eight o’clock after I’ve had my nap and my snack or dinner or whatever. And just remind me to go and check this thing out or that, can you, can you join me in my meeting with my advisor? Because I feel like I’m not asking everything and I just want to make sure that I’m, um, I’m good to go.
You know, like ask for that assistance, whether it’s your family, whether it’s a friend, you know, loop some people in.
Ah, so me, my experience, um,[00:34:00]
recommend my experience and I’m just going to give you full, full disclosure. I am a first gen college student. And so when I applied to college, I kid you not, I think I only had applications for like three schools. Okay. And so I recommend that you do not just apply to three schools that you extend the number of applications for schools that you’re applying to, but being first gen there’s some things that, you know, some things you don’t know, some things you just have to learn as you go.
So that’s why I said I didn’t recommend it in that part. Um, but there were some other things that I do recommend, you know, if you’re a parent on here and you’re wondering about your engagement, should you be hands-on or should you be hands-off? Um, I had a very engaged mom, like super engaged. She was asking me about college all the time.
She wanted to know what schools, I want us to go on tour, why I was interested in the black of the school. I remember I was going to apply to a school. I’m not going to disclose their name, but I was going to apply to a school. And my mom asked me [00:35:00] why. And I said, because they had a beautiful campus and she’s like, well, I need a little bit more substance than that.
Okay. And I was like, and I get my own room. She was like, yeah, no, that’s not enough. They didn’t even offer the major that I was interested in. Okay. So goes to show, like having your parents engaged, they help you figure out, like, why are you applying for where you want to apply and how to think about your applications?
And then, um, I completed my application profile, um, where the information that I knew so that when I did have to lean on my guardian, I, uh, had already completed as much as I could. So they just needed to put in their part or for the questions that I wasn’t able to answer, because I didn’t know. Um, I completed my portion of the FAFSA, by the way, FAFSA opened October, the first, my seniors that are in here.
I hope that you all have a plan for the FASFA, uh, whether you believe that you’re eligible or not a black for the FAFSA, sometimes they’ll [00:36:00] ask for the, um, the summary report and those scholarships, just to show that you have completed it, that you have tried to get money from the government to be able to assist you.
And your first year of college apply for the password open October. The first I. I stress the FASFA it’s super important. And so that’s why I said it so many times to the point where I know you so that when you leave here today, if your parent asks, you know, what did Ms C talk about in the call? You can say, she told me about all the great things that I can do to help myself with my college applications.
But she’s also said that we need to apply for the FASFA because it opened on October the first just saying, um, and then reach out about transcripts created to do list. My mom also had a scholarship packet prepared for me, so she prepared it herself. So while I’m working on my car, my college applications, and while I’m also doing my schoolwork and stuff, I didn’t have a CollegeAdvisor at my school.
I had a counselor and my teachers, and then my. You know, and so my [00:37:00] mom did the re that part of the research for me. And after my college applications, yes, I got to rest a little bit, but I was still applying for other stuff, which was free money, you know, like I had to do that because we didn’t have that, what I say, 50,000 plus dollars laying around, um, when there’s so much free money out there for you to be able to go and get, um, let me see.
Am I missing anything?
I will say I did not apply early action because I didn’t know anything about early action and early decision, anything like that? I’m pretty sure I applied within that regular deadline. Um, I remember my FASFA going in after the March 1st, uh, normal deadline, but it was okay because we were figuring it out, you know, don’t ignore those reminder emails that you’re going to get to about how something is incomplete or how they, how you need to be submitting this and this.
Okay. It’s super important. Um, and I did, I don’t think that I had it in here. But [00:38:00] I do highly, highly, highly recommend that you create what they call a, my college info document. And so some of my students that are on packages with me, we have created those. And so it has all of the information that you need in order to apply to college.
So your username and password for your common app, you use name, password for your FSA ID, your user name and password for those student portals, because who you’re going to have so many student portals that you need to log in to be able to see your acceptance letter, to be able to see the scholarship portals, that they have to be able to do all kinds of stuff.
And it’s easy for you to forget. So I recommend that you create a document with all of that. And I will tell you now, Ms. T is in her mid twenties and she still utilizes that document to be able to navigate around the different sites that she still needs to get to to this day. That is how I was able to share my college board, um, with a student when we were registering them for the sat, I had to go to my college and.
So if you don’t have one, [00:39:00] you need to get one. I highly recommend that because you’re going to need it all four years that you’re in school. So with that, I’m going to turn it over because you’ve got this. Thank you. Thank you, Ms. T. So that is the end of the presentation part of the web. I hope you found the information helpful.
And remember that you can download the slides from the link in the handouts tab, moving on to the live Q and a I’ll read through questions you submitted in the Q and a tab. Um, Ms. C you can already start to look at some of the questions that you might want to, um, answer for our audience. Um, we’ll put them into the public, um, chats or one can see them read them out loud.
And then as a heads up, if your Q and a tab, isn’t letting you submit questions, just double-check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not from the webinar landing page. Okay. So going into our questions, let’s see. [00:40:00] First question. Do you just ask your teacher for a letter or do you have to give them like some type of document?
So the short answer to that is yes. You could just ask them. However Ms. T recommends that you’d be a little extra and you give them a resume, you know, of things that you have participated in that you’ve done. Or maybe you go a little bit of extra the extra mile and you give them like a one pager of, you know, what about you and what you’ve done since the last time maybe you took their class.
Um, what you’re interested in, uh, the schools that you’re interested in applying to why you’re interested in applying to them, um, what major you may be interested in if you know, um, and how you believe that them extending their time, um, and writing you a letter will be, um, Awesome for your application process, you know, like don’t [00:41:00] just walk up and say, Hey, do you think you can write me a recommendation letter?
Like if they asked you and they said, Hey, do you think you could just write me an essay or you going to have questions? Right. So make sure that you’re providing them with enough information and details to, um, speak to the admissions office about why you’re such an awesome candidate. Um, I see a question about the sat and how you can sign up for it.
You will need to go to college board, um, the website itself, and you can register on there if you, um, receive free or reduced lunch, if you, um, um, If you had a waiver for standardized tests before, or if you believe that you qualify for a fee waiver, make sure that you reach out to your counselor to obtain one of those, um, question about how to get an appointment with your college advisor and how the, how you go about it.
Um, if you already [00:42:00] have a college advisor, then you would just reach out to your college advisor via email. If you do not have a college advisor. Um, I do believe that some more information on how you can get signed up will be given at the very end of the presentation, um, that I think will be more insightful than what I could give you now, actually, that can kind of take me to our next kind of pause on our, on our questions and answers.
Uh, want to work with one-on-one with an advisor from our team of over 270, uh, advisors and our mission officers sign up for a free consultation with us by going to CollegeAdvisor.com and clicking on the green chat, the green chat, but in the bottom right of the screen from there, just write in consultation and a live team member will get back to you to coordinate your free consultation with us.
And then also miss T has opened up herself and said, you know, if you’re interested in working with Ms C, make sure that you [00:43:00] recommend, I mean, make sure you ask, can I work with Ms. T? Absolutely. All right. So now back to our questions in answers, yes. Um, how soon after you apply, should the FAFSA be submitted as soon as you can get it done?
Um, and. With the FAFSA, I would make sure that you answer every question as well as you can. Um, there’ll be a section for you to answer. There’ll be a section for your guardian to answer. Um, and you can go to, I want to say like your local state employees credit union to receive assistance with a FASFA, um, like your local bank, you can call in and receive assistance.
I know that for my students, I have opened myself up to help them with any and everything on the FASFA. Um, and I’m pretty sure that if you have questions, you can ask your college advisor, your counselors, things like that as well. [00:44:00] What’s an AP in an IB course. Um, so in AP courses and advanced placement and IB course.
Oh, Lord. I want to say it’s inter Bachler it don’t.
Um, and so AP core. Oh, and there’s also dual enrollment to add with that. Usually your IB courses are like on an IB pathway. And so you start your like pre pre IB courses, maybe your freshmen sophomore year that are actually considered like honors courses, but then your junior or senior year, you’re taking those strong IB courses.
You’ll get an IB diploma. Um, and with the AP courses, um, they’re advanced placement courses that are college level courses as well. Good question. Um, can you apply to scholarships before being accepted into the school? So if they are school specific [00:45:00] scholarships, it depends. Um, and it will tell you, you know, like what’s the eligibility and criteria and stuff is for that.
So make sure that you read that, that information very well, uh, creating the document to save the password. So what my mom did was she went on my personal Google drive. She created a word document through Google drive and we shared it with each other and made sure that it was set to private to anyone else.
So it’s not a public document. Um, only the two of us can look at it and, um, Edited or anything like that. And we just put the website name and the website link as well as what the username of the password was. And we did that for each thing that we had to create an account on during the college application process.
I also recommend that any security questions that you have, especially when you’re creating your FSA ID, that you put those questions, as well as the answer in exactly the way that you have typed it in there as well, in case you ever get like. [00:46:00] Um, difference between a personal essay and a college essay.
So a personal essay is like, for instance, if, when you’re on a application portal and you have to write a essay to like maybe one of six or seven, uh, prompts that is considered your personal essay, where you get to decide personally what SAE wants to answer your college essay. Um, so different schools may have specific essay questions that they like you for you to answer that may be around like 250 words or something like that.
Um, and so they can differ, you know, they could decide to have you do your personal essay and supplemental essay, or they can decide not. How do we make ourselves stand out when we don’t have any extracurriculars? So I would, um, reflect and think like, why do you not have extracurriculars? Is it because you haven’t found anything engaging?
Is it because you’re having to stay at home and take care of your siblings, take care of a relative? [00:47:00] Is it because you, you know, whatever the reason may be, um, or if maybe you’ve only been able to find stuff that has. You know, then like volunteering at the food shelter here, or volunteering there, or whatever, you know, you can include those things.
It doesn’t have to be something that you do every single week include all that you’ve been able to be engaged in. Um, and if your school doesn’t have anything, you know, look into your, um, your community and see how you can assist, maybe you can help with being a tutor. Um, for some students, maybe you can help out at a daycare center, maybe you can help out at the local Y YMCA, if you have one or whatever community youth center there is, um, make sure that you reach out, you can also add those summer enrichment programs that, you know, oftentimes we end up engaging in and things like that as well.
Good question. Good question. Do all schools have honors and what are honors in college? So not all [00:48:00] schools have honors colleges and honors colleges are basically a, like an honors class. Um, but it’s, uh, Maybe you have an additional paper or something that you have to write. Maybe you’re doing some research.
Um, in addition to what the standard curriculum is, I’m planning on applying to Ivy league schools, but my sat scores below their average, is it worth applying? Do I stand a chance so that isn’t going to vary on a case by case basis? I do not know what your sat score is or the rest of your background, like what your GPA is, what you’re interested in studying at the school, what schools you’re applying to.
But if you sign up to have a college advisor, they’d be able to go over that with you. Um, one thing that I will say is that we never discourage a student from applying to a school. We just provide you with the information and the facts and allow you to make that decision yourself.
How would you recommend doing research on particular colleges? Are there guys on YouTube or is it better to just read through their website? [00:49:00] So for my students, um, I recommend that they, um, Take a career assessment or if they don’t know what it is that they’re wanting to study. And from the career assessment, I look up the different majors from the majors, do a search on, um, there’s some different websites where you can do a search on different majors in what jobs you can do and what, um, what schools offer those.
And then you can look up a top 10, or you could go on, um, I think it’s niche.com or niche.com and I C H E m.com. And you can look up different schools and read the school profiles as well as see, as the, the reviews from different students that are currently attending or that are out. Um, I highly recommend doing that.
Uh, our college advisors also, uh, spend time helping students create college lists. We also have a college list team here. So if you sign up for package, you’d be able to utilize that service as well. Um, if a college has a place for [00:50:00] resume, That they say it’s optional. How much do you recommend putting it in?
So I grew up in an era where, when someone says, well, if you’d like to, you know, and I’ve always been taught, you know, if, if it doesn’t hurt you to do it, go ahead and do it. So I would recommend that if it says it’s optional and it’s like the last five minutes before it’s due, then it’s just optional at that point.
But if it’s optional and you’ve been able to see that it’s been optional for quite some time, I go ahead and knock it out and complete it and have it reviewed that way. You already have it when you need to apply for your scholarships, where they’ll ask for those things. How far in advance, do you think it is good to start the application process?
If I’m an international student? Um, I would say, you know, you can’t really start applying for the schools until you’re a senior. Um, but you can start early on by doing research. You know, if you’re in the ninth or 10th grade, starting the research process, um, when you’re in the 11th grade, going ahead and [00:51:00] taking those standardized tests to see which ones are going to be the best ones for you to take, um, and submit those scores.
Go ahead and look at the essay questions that they’re asking for and start working on your writing. Um, figuring out how to do an outline. I think it is so important that you submit an outline. Most of my students that have submitted essays for me to review, I always request an outline to accompany the essay.
Sometimes when they’re going back and reading their essay, they realize that it’s not in alignment with their outline. And so they’re able to make those corrections early on because if I’m reading it, I’m feeling lost your admissions, officer’s reading and feeling loss as well. So, um, I would recommend, you know, your summer putting some of these materials together, whatever you can get together now, you know, come August 1st.
When for instance, common app application opens, it’s easier for you to be able to navigate and put that information in there. If you did not notify the college that you wanted to apply to financial aid, but sent them your FAFSA, what should you do?[00:52:00]
So when you send your FAFSA, it notifies the school and they can put it and link it to your application. Um, so you’re fine. As long as you put the school in your FASFA. Now, if you did not put the school in your FAFSA, um, you can go and at the school to your FAFSA at any point in time, once you have everything, are you then allowed to submit your college applications?
After you have had it reviewed, do not submit without having it reviewed. Please do not submit without having it reviewed. Have it reviewed, reviewed, reviewed,
um, besides what majors they offer, what else do you think that we should research about college? Um, I know that for me, it’s important to see what the diversity looks like on the school, the location, in terms of the safety of the school, the majors that they offer, what extracurriculars they offer, because I’m going to be spending the next four years of my life there.
Right. Um, so I [00:53:00] wanted to also see the dorm rooms and it is it, you know, co-ed and what does that necessarily mean? Um, what, uh, kind of in what kind of climate is it? You know, like I remember when I was touring different schools, I went to some schools that were in the mountains. I went to some schools that were near the beach and I realized that.
I’ve fit Mo more nicely in a school that was in between the two, you know? So you realize like what works for you. Um, and so those are some questions that you should ask yourself. Some students look at distance from their families, you know, like, are you wanting to go out of state? What is the cost associated with it?
Cost is important, but I don’t think that it’s super, super, super important when you’re doing your research, you know, because you have scholarships and financial aid that you can apply for is being a national honor society and honor award, or is it just an organization slash Cub? It is an honor. It will [00:54:00] go in your honors and awards section.
That is a high honor. So kudos to you. Congratulations on getting into the national honor society. There’s the common app count as a college resume? No, it does not. The common app counts as a college application. Your college resume is something that you need to build outside of common app. Well, the FAFSA requesting financial aid, if you qualify, hurt your chance to get into the school.
Absolutely not. Well, I’m going to back up because I remember in another application that I did apply to first-gen, there are some schools that look at the student’s financial need. Um, but I wouldn’t say that they lean extremely heavy on making that a determining factor in if you will get accepted into that school.
Okay. Who should I ask to review my college essays? So, um, welcome, uh, to our live session earlier in the presentation. I think that there was mention of having your [00:55:00] advisor, your counselor, your teachers, um, having a guardian, maybe a peer or additional friend, look over your application to be able to catch some things after you have done.
So yourself, any benefits since the beginning, before the deadline or more than a week before the deadline? No, because they’re still going to pull your application after the deadline. Um, So, I mean, you get submitted and just, you know, know that you checked that off of your checklist, but they’re not going to pull it immediately unless they have like an instant decision, uh, type thing going on, um, during a certain set period of time.
Does it look bad to submit your application the day before the deadline or on the date of the deadline? Nope, you’re perfectly fine. That’s why those deadlines exist. How do you know if a college offer internship co-op and undergrad research?
Oh, that question just went away. [00:56:00] Um, I think the question is asking, how do you know if they offer those things? Yes, you can research. You can reach out to that mission. So you can research and ask about how they navigate the internship co-op experience and opportunities. Um, for students, they’d be able to give you more information about that.
I applied to eight colleges by November 1st. Should I follow up by calling the admissions office? Absolutely not. So what’s going to happen is your application will get downloaded and you should be able to see in your portal that your application has been downloaded. Um, there are so many other students that also applied to those eight plus schools on November, the first, you just gotta be patient, um, and make sure that you filled out everything.
They’ll probably send you an email with some login information for the different portals, um, that you’ll need to navigate or register on our, in to be able to see updates. And, um, you should have a decision by their decision to. [00:57:00] And I think
how do you know if a college? Oh, okay. I see your, I see your question. Yeah. We just, um, answered that one. Do you have to pay to have an advisor? So you have to pay, if you, um, are in need of a college advisor through CollegeAdvisor.com, unless you, if you are an underclassmen. Um, I do believe that there is a scholarship type opportunity to receive services that has an application, um, deadline that has already passed.
But I think that it will open again in the spring. If I’m not mistake. Yes. Um, I have, I think we have time for maybe one or two more questions. Um, but as kind of seeing this come up a little bit, but how do you balance college applications with your financial aid, his scholarship applications, any, any tips or points that you just want to reiterate on [00:58:00] balancing those two applications?
So I recommend utilizing your Google calendar and putting your deadlines on there. And so each week your schedule may look a little different because the other thing that you will have to you’ll also have the balance on top of. Of all of that is your schoolwork and your schoolwork is what comes first.
So maybe one weekend you go ahead and you tackle the FAFSA, um, with your parents. If you need to go back to the password, that’s fine too. Um, but then maybe the next week, you and a buddy get up and meet up at the library and have like a picnic or something. And you all are applying for your scholarships and things like that, or conducting the research or maybe your school or your county or your, um, your board of ed board of educators for your district has a scholarship, uh, portal or something that you can navigate it.
I would highly recommend that you reach out to the adults at your school. Um, oh, there was one question that I saw a social security number. Can we bring that one back please? [00:59:00] Um, archive. I think the question was like, what do you do if you want to apply for financial aid, but you don’t have the social security.
Um, so in the PR in the case that you want to apply to financial aid and you do not have a social security number, which you would do as you were interested, zeros is going to keep kicking it back to you, keep answering zeros, and it would allow you to push forward. Can you make changes on FAFSA after submitting?
Absolutely. You sure can. Um, you’ll log into your FAFSA and you’ll, um, there’s like a button that you’ll hit that will allow you to make those changes. And then you’ll have to do your electric signature with your FSA ID. Thank you all so much for joining and engaging with me this evening. It was awesome.
Speaking to all 90 plus of you. Um, and I’m going to turn it over. Yes. Thank you, Ms. T. A webinar and great jobs, taking all those questions and having a great response to [01:00:00] all of them. Thank you all for answering your, um, uh, providing us with questions during the live Q and a. So that is the end of our webinar.
We had a really great time telling you about how to pace yourself through this college application process. Here are the rest of our November series. Check them out. We look forward to seeing you again in one of our upcoming webinars. Thank you all. Have a great evening. And thank you again.