Most of the students I work with have one or two dream schools they really want to attend. And many of these seniors will choose to apply early for their top choices. With early decision and early action deadlines looming on November 1, it’s crunch time for students looking to apply ASAP to college and get their good news sooner.
If you’re one of these students, here are some things to keep in mind:
Think holistically about schools
Figuring out which school is your dream school isn’t a decision to take lightly. That’s why seniors applying early need to be sure they’re committed to their decision. There are so many factors that feed into this choice and what will be the right fit for you—from location to areas of specialization to athletics and more. For instance, if you know what you want to major in, it will be important to research how your short list of schools ranks when it comes to your future field of study. If you’re an athlete and want to continue to pursue your sport in college, you’ll need to check out your schools’ athletics programs.
TLDR: Before you commit to your top school(s), make sure you’re thinking through all aspects of what each school has to offer.
Plan what you’ll say
If you’re one of those seniors racing toward the November 1 deadline, you may have already started your essays. But if you’re feeling stumped or having writer’s block, there are still things you can do to spot patterns and trends that will help you answer the right questions and position yourself in the best light. The most important advice I can offer is to be thoughtful about the questions you choose to answer and really think about what you want to convey before you start responding – even if that just means taking a few minutes to brainstorm what your key messages might be and any forward-looking statements or stories you can tell to reinforce what makes you the ideal candidate. I promise that the more time you can devote to thinking about this, the better and richer your story will be.
TLDR: Really think about what makes you unique and what you have to offer before you put pen to paper.
Decide: now or later?
If you feel like you just don’t know which college is right for you yet or that you don’t have the time to make the best possible case for why you’d be a great addition to campus, you might want to consider pumping the brakes on applying early. Taking the pressure off and giving yourself the time to think a little deeper about your story may help you see the best way to tell it. Check to see what the final deadlines are for each specific school you want to attend. Most are January 1, but this can vary so check to be sure.
TLDR: Weigh the pros and cons of applying early, and recognize you don’t HAVE to take action right now.
Get the support you need
Writing college admissions essays can be intimidating because the process is more competitive than ever. At MN College Essay Coach, we work with students to identify what makes them unique and most attractive to their future school, then help polish their essays to perfection. If you’re applying under January deadlines, we’d love to help you craft essays that make you stand out from the crowd. Get in touch!
TLDR: I’m here for you! Let’s connect.