The perilous moment when your finger hovers over the “Submit” button has passed. College applications are in. Deadlines have come and gone (or will soon). Now what?
No! There is much to be accomplished after “Submit.” Do not fall into the trap of “being done.” Instead, consider these tips for channeling any nervous energy while you wait for your college admission decisions.
1. Create your student accounts for each school to which you have applied.
Important information such as admissions decisions, scholarship invitations, missing application materials, etc. can be conveyed through your student account. You’ll also be able to see the reassuring “in progress” status of your application through your account! If you haven't yet received an email from each college to which you've applied with instructions on how to access these student accounts, check your SPAM. If you don't see the info there, reach out to the colleges and inquire about the process.
2. Finalize and submit FAFSA and CSS Profile (if applicable).
Many schools’ filing deadlines for FAFSA and CSS Profile are later than their application deadlines. Yet, the sooner you file, the more money may be available for your financial aid package. Don’t delay, get them in!
3. Begin (or continue) the search for scholarships.
Although many colleges/universities will automatically consider students for merit scholarships based on their application, leave no stone unturned when looking for additional institutional money. Go to the “Financial Aid & Scholarships” web page for each school. Scour every corner of the site for links to scholarships. Consider options through local resources. What scholarships are available through your local church? Part-time jobs? Your parents’ places of employment? Education Foundations? Kiwanis? Rotary? Check out some good tips here on where to begin!
4. Familiarize yourself with possible outcomes.
Learn the lingo. Is there a possibility of being deferred at some of your prospective schools? Waitlisted? What do these things mean?
Accepted: You’re in! If you applied through Early Decision, you will need to contact all other schools to which you have applied to withdraw your application.
Deferred: You haven't been accepted yet…but you might be…later. This “outcome” generally follows Early Decision or Early Action applications. Your application is converted into a regular decision application. It will then be re-reviewed with all other applications in the regular admissions cycle. Check out our tips here for facing a deferred admission decision.
Waitlisted: You’re not in. But, you’re not out either. The college likes you, but there just isn’t enough room for all of the amazing candidates who applied. Although the likelihood of being admitted off of a waitlist is small, it is not unheard of.
5. REMEMBER: You are not defined by your admission decisions.
Just a reminder that YOU as a human being are NOT defined by where you get in, where you go college, or where you don’t attend. You are defined by your character, actions, and humanity. Avoid the common misstep of placing your entire identity into this process. College admissions decisions are influenced by countless institutional variables over which you have no control. Keep being the best you and the rest will fall into place.
Hang in there and good luck!