Nov 11

Your Complete Guide to College Application

Your Complete Guide to College Application

The college application process causes a lot of stress for many students and their parents. Be at ease. We’re sure you’ll be able to get through this process without any incidents and enroll in a reputable college if you become familiar with it and put enough work into it.

We’ll go over the deadlines for college applications in this article. More significantly, we’ll give you a comprehensive calendar for submitting college applications, including what you should be doing at each stage of your high school experience to prepare yourself to do so.


Overview of the Application Process for College

You will be directly or indirectly working on your college application far before your applications 

are due. If you want to effectively finish the college application process, fulfill every college application deadline and increase your competitiveness for college admission. In fact, this process might start as early as your freshman year if you plan to apply to top universities.

Your transcript, your standardized test results, your references, your personal essay, and your extracurricular activities are the main parts of your application that will be assessed.

To make sure that every part of your final application is as great as possible, we’ll walk you through an ideal college planning timetable in this article. Remember that this college application timeline is only a guideline; you may decide that it makes more sense to complete these tasks a little earlier than we advise. The important thing to remember is that planning ahead is important. Waiting until the last minute can hurt your chances of getting into the school of your dreams.

Do you want to improve your chances of getting into a top-tier university? Schedule your consultation with Tokyo Academics today!

Freshman and Sophomore years

Although you don’t need to start planning your college applications until your junior year, the strength of your application will be influenced by your first two years of high school. Although certain universities, such as those affiliated with the University of California, won’t take your freshman grades into account, your sophomore grades will unquestionably affect your high school GPA and play a role in determining if you’re accepted to the college of your choosing.

Take note of the classes you enroll in. Selective institutions want to know that you did well in challenging classes all through high school. If a student hasn’t taken advanced coursework in their first two years of high school, some high schools are hesitant to let them enroll in honors or AP courses in their junior year.

Additionally, colleges are interested in how long you’ve studied fundamental topics (math, English, science, history, and foreign language). You’ll have a harder time getting accepted if you don’t take a foreign language or history course in your freshman or sophomore year.

Make sure you participate in extracurricular activities as well. Colleges like to see that you are dedicated to your extracurricular activities. A more impressive applicant is one who has excelled in the same extracurricular throughout high school as opposed to one who only takes up the activity in his junior year.

Start your SAT/ACT preparation now. Typically, the summer before your junior year or during your sophomore year is when you should begin your SAT/ACT preparation. In the fall of your junior year, we advise you to take the SAT/ACT for the first time. To adequately prepare yourself, begin your studies early.


Fall of Junior Year

Taking your standardized tests is the greatest deadline you have to meet in your junior year for college applications. Test results are used by universities to assess a student’s readiness to succeed at their institution. Your exam scores will need to be higher the more competitive the university.

You should take the SAT or ACT for the first time in the fall of your junior year. Start looking into colleges as well. Even if you don’t have to choose schools just yet, knowing the colleges you’re interested in can help you understand what you need to do to improve your chances of getting accepted. You will also be able to decide on your desired SAT or ACT score.

Then, if necessary, you can decide whether you need to retake the SAT or ACT and determine how to raise your score.


Spring of Junior Year

You should compile a preliminary list of universities you wish to apply to in the spring of your junior year. Utilize rating lists, college finders, and websites that allow you to look for colleges. Having this list will give you plenty of time to finish all the criteria for your application and ensure that you can achieve the standardized exam results you want. Your list should be broken up into safety, target, and reach schools.

Retake your SAT or ACT if necessary. Ideally, this time you’ll score where you want to. Once more, be sure to be ready.

Finally, you should request letters of recommendation from your professors. Your teachers will have more time to consider them if you ask them beforehand, and you might receive stronger suggestions. Be sure to ask early because many teachers may be inundated with requests for recommendations from students throughout your senior year.


Summer of Senior Year

Try to finalize your college list over the summer before your senior year. Although there isn’t a strict deadline for college applications, meeting it will make your life much simpler in the fall. Additionally, make sure you are aware of what each school requires for applications. You’ll be prepared to begin your applications right away if you do it that way.

Do some serious studying over the summer if you still need to take the SAT or ACT to achieve your goal score.

Begin planning and preparing for your college application essays as well. Create concepts and write rough drafts. The more you do over the summer, the less stress you’ll experience during the academic year.


Fall of Senior Year

Your senior year’s fall semester will probably be quite hectic. There are several deadlines for college applications that you need to be aware of as you need to make sure they are prepared for submission in the autumn.

First, request recommendations formally at the beginning of the semester. Asking shouldn’t be left until the last week before your application deadlines. Teachers that are overworked or overloaded with requests for recommendations may decline to submit your letters or won’t be able to send you a strong reference in time.

Afterward, edit your college essays. Essays for college take far longer than you may imagine. Although the essay is not very long, creating a superb college essay can take some time. Again, there is no hard deadline for completing these, but we advise that you submit your application one to two months before you finish your essays. Consequently, you will have more time to revise.

Early decision and early action applications typically need to be submitted by November 15. If you apply early, your last opportunity to take the SAT or ACT will probably be in October or November. Early candidates are often informed of admissions choices by early December.

Regular decision application deadlines for the majority of universities are January 1st, while certain well-known colleges have earlier deadlines. For instance, the end of November is the application deadline for the University of California. Keep track of the application deadlines for every school on your list.

Make sure that all required applications, documents, and score reports have been sent. Make a list of the materials you must submit for each school. Fortunately, more universities are embracing the Coalition Application or the Common Application, which may make your life simpler.

If you still need to take the SAT or ACT, make sure you study well and show up on test day so you can submit your results to the colleges. The tests you take in December will be your final chance at most schools, but a few colleges may let you submit test results from January or February.

Start working on the financial aid application procedure if you require it. Each college has its unique standards for financial aid. For information on qualifications and deadlines for financial help, consult the school’s website and financial aid office. Complete the FAFSA if you want to be eligible for financial help. Learn everything you can about financial aid and look into all your alternatives for paying for education.


Spring of Senior Year

By late March or early April, you should learn the results of your regular decision applications. Ideally, numerous colleges will accept you.

To select the college that will be the greatest for you, keep investigating the universities that accept you. The universities that accepted you will provide financial assistance offers to you soon after they accept you if you applied for financial help.

You can utilize the financial aid packages to calculate how much each school will cost you and take that into consideration while making your college choice. It is customary for you to select your school before May 1.


For the Procrastinators

The timeline we’ve given you for applying to colleges is perfect for enhancing the strength of your application and lowering stress. It’s true that a lot of students don’t start to consider their college applications until the fall of their senior year. Some of these kids are still able to submit all of their applications with flying colors and enroll in the college of their choice.

But we believe that adhering to the schedule we outlined for college applications is advantageous for all students. We are aware of students who waited too long to begin writing their essays and were unable to submit their applications on time. Because they didn’t do enough college research, we know some students drastically restricted their college selections. Additionally, if they had given themselves more time to study, the vast majority of the children we’ve worked with might have performed better on their standardized tests.

Additionally, your senior year will be packed with work and extracurricular activities. Given all of your other obligations, you’re likely to feel overburdened if you wait until the fall of your senior year to start thinking about the application process. It will be simpler and more likely that you will succeed if you invest more time in this procedure earlier.

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