Getting Your Child Organized For the College Application Process

Preparing for college starts with the often terrifying college application process. In order to create a successful college application your teenager need to organize the data they will need and have it ready when they sit down to fill out applications. Getting your child organized for the college application process doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Being prepared will make this task so much easier for you and your teen.

  • Identify The Top 3 – Knowing which colleges your teen wants to apply is the first step in this process. By now you probably have visited all the colleges that are on the top of your teen’s wish list. Schedule an appointment with your teen and their guidance counselor to narrow down the list to the 3 best schools.
  • Create a List – Each college has its own application information and documentation requirements. Create a spreadsheet or word document table with a checklist of all of the application requirements for each college your child intends to apply to. Creating a checklist will ensure nothing is missed and that everything the college needs has been supplied to them.
  • Gather What You Need – Before beginning the application, make sure you have all the necessary items the college needs. Gather all of the information you listed on your checklist above together in a single place and separate it into 4 folders or electronic files: “Every College Requires”, “College A Requirements”, “College B Requirements”, “College C Requirements”. Then when you are ready to complete the application it will be a simple step to locate what they are asking you to upload.
  • Know The Application Deadlines – On the spreadsheet you create make sure you include the deadline for each application. Each college may have a different date and you don’t want to miss any deadlines. The colleges are very strict in this area, so don’t ignore the dates.
  • Allocate Ample Time – You know the deadlines, DON’T wait until the night before to start working on the application. Essays may have to be written and who wants to cram on this step? Map out time to work on the essays and the applications weeks before the deadline.

Getting the applications completed will be well worth the time you put in beforehand by properly being prepared. What a great life lesson to pass on to your teen! Celebrate when all the applications are completed. You both deserve it!

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