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College Admissions: 4 Ways To Avoid Rejection Of Your Application

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

 

Don't let this happen to you: make sure you've got the 4 essentials covered in addition to your application.

As many students hit the “submit” button and send off their college applications, they forget that the application itself is just one part of what needs to be submitted. There are several other documents that must be received in order for a college to consider your file ready for review. Because of this, many students receive a deluge of emails and postcards just after submitting applications, notifying them that

all their materials have not been received. This sends panic into the hearts of stressed out applicants and their families. Here are 4 ways to avoid having your application sidelined in the admissions process:

1. School Forms

Make certain that your school-based college counselor has the list of colleges that you will be applying to several weeks before your first deadline hits. That way he/she can prepare all the forms that need to be submitted from the school. Some guidance offices will collect and send all the school materials together, others will rely on students to pick up documents and send them to colleges. Teacher recommendations, the guidance counselor recommendation, your transcript, and the school profile MUST ALL be received by each of your colleges. Some schools now file electronically via the Common App or Naviance, but other schools remain locked in the era of paper and the U.S. Post Office. So, give your counselor plenty of notice as to where you will be applying, and understand that if school materials get lost in the mail, colleges will wait a few days for another set to be sent.

2. Test Scores

Your SAT I, SAT II Subject Tests or ACT scores must also be sent directly from the reporting agency to colleges (unless you are applying to a test optional institution). It does not matter if you reported your scores on your application or if your school prints them on your transcript. The only scores that colleges will accept come directly from the Collegeboard for the SATs, or www.act.org for the ACT. Colleges have been in a transition period the last year or two, as reporting agencies began sending scores over the internet in batch files. However, many colleges are not equipped to receive scores electronically and still depend on paper reports. This year, there have been an unusually high number of issues with missing SAT scores during early admission. So, be sure to request your scores 2 weeks before your deadlines whenever possible.

3. Payments

Your payment must be received in order for your application to be processed. Most colleges allow you to do this via credit card on the payment tab of the Common Application or on their website. Checks are also accepted, but make certain that you put your social security number on the check and send it directly to the admissions office. For students who are submitting a fee waiver, it’s a good idea to call the admissions office and ensure that the required information for a waiver was received and that your request was accepted.

4. Supplements

Most colleges and universities have a supplement to the Common Application which includes personal information, your desired major, and in some cases, essays. This part of the application can be a deal breaker. Colleges may wait for late SAT scores or payments, but if your supplement is not transmitted by the deadline, your application is likely to be rejected. Also, keep in mind that supplemental essays can play a significant role in the decision process. Colleges want to know why you selected them and that you have done your homework concerning their unique attributes. So, don’t rush through the supplements. Make them count!

Cristiana Quinn, M.Ed. is the founder of College Admission Advisors, LLC which provides strategic, college counseling and athletic recruiting services for students. www.collegeadvisorsonline.com.

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