For many high school seniors, today marks the end of your first hurdle of college applications. It's November 1, which in college admission terms means the day the majority of Early Action, Early Decision, and merit scholarship deadlines fall. CONGRATULATIONS! (now imagine the confetti flying like on Common App) You did it! You met a very important deadline, and that my friend is adulting - for real! For many of you, this doesn't mean it's the end of your application submittals, but it is the first big set that are now out, so celebrate the accomplishment that is YOURS!
Truth be told, once you hit the Submit button, you're not entirely done. Many times, it's only the beginning. Although college specific, your next To Do List item is looking out for the email from the colleges you applied to. There, it may ask you to follow a link embedded in the email to create an account with the school specifically. This account is EXTREMELY important, so be sure to check even your SPAM for these emails on a regular basis. If you still don't see it, reach out to the college admission department and ask if they'd like an alternative email address. Why? Because you've used your school email address, and I've seen school Firewalls stop some of these necessary and important emails from getting through to your school email. NOT GOOD!
If you're not sure whether you'll get an email requesting you create a school-specific applicant account, you can find out by going into your Common App Dashboard tab. There, you'll click the Show More Details under the college name and there you can click on the button titled What's Next where you can find out more information if an email is anticipated or not.
I cannot emphasize enough how important of a task it is to create your applicant portal! These colleges can be sneaky and you're not doing yourself any favors not creating one. This is the account where you'll learn if you are missing any materials for your application to be completed and reviewed. But, this portal is also the place where you'll find out about Honors College applications and/or merit scholarship applications and those deadlines! If you didn't know about it, you don't get a pass. College application deadlines are set in stone - no excuses.
It may seem excessive, but check EVERY applicant portal AT LEAST every other day. Decisions usually come in as "Status Updates" and admissions decisions are typically announced there initially. You must check these portals on a regular basis; colleges are expecting you to do this and may not send you a "heads-up" email in every case. Checking your portal is your responsibility.
When decisions do come out, Accepted is the one you want to see, but you could also be Deferred. This means your application was strong enough to not earn a Rejected decision, but they want to wait and see how you look against their Regular Decision applicant pool. When this happens, it's an entirely new blog post I will write in the future, but in short, make sure you have updates to provide to admissions since you've submitted your application. Don't rest on your laurels thinking once you submitted the application you are done. You are NOT! Continue to be awesome, continue to be impactful in your community, continue to take on new challenges, maybe get a job. You want to be in a position to have "stuff" in your back pocket of greatness to share early in the new year if you are deferred to the Regular Decision pool. Have something new to say if you find yourself Deferred. You gotta still make a splash!
Congratulations on sending out your first set of applications; continue on with the rest of your applications. Find the strength to keep going. Strategize if you'll go ED II at any school (which means you'll have to hold out until January to submit your application). If deciding to wait on a school to go ED II, read this post to see if it's a good idea for you. Good luck, and I hope you end up exactly where you are meant to be!
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