Tips for Improving Your Chance of Admission
After You’ve Hit Submit
Go ahead. Pat yourself on the back. Completing your applications is a major accomplishment. So take a day or two off to bask in your awesomeness, then get back to work on a few tasks that can help you nail an acceptance! Don’t make the mistake of going rogue when you can still influence your admissions decision.
1.Check Your Email. You should receive an email from each school you’ve applied to acknowledging receipt of the application and providing a login to a student portal. CHECK YOUR PORTAL to make sure that each school has received all of the components of your application. Commonly missing materials include forgotten SAT/ACT scores, school transcripts, or recommendations. If you are missing any items, call the school to confirm, as sometimes the portal isn’t updated immediately. Then, save the login as a bookmark on your web browser, because you a few months from now you will check in there for your admissions decision!
2. Check Your Finances. If you haven't already done so, work with your parents to complete the necessary financial aid forms, the FAFSA and for some schools, the CSS. Also, keep working to find school-specific, local, and national scholarships (read my article)
3. Interview. If your school offers optional interviews, book them as soon as possible! You should take any opportunity to prove your genuine interest even if the requirement is “optional.”
4. Visit. Scan the website for additional admissions events either in your local area or on campus. Winter and Spring Open Houses often offer major-specific information sessions, These are a great time for you to make another mark on campus and learn specifics about your program!
5. Introduce Yourself. Most admissions departments are set up with regional reps who handle different geographic areas. These reps will most likely be the first to read your application. If you haven’t already done so, now is a great time to introduce yourself! You can find your rep by calling the admissions office or perusing the website. Keep it simple: introduce yourself and provide a memorable detail, reiterate your interest, and ask a specific question, but don’t waste their time.
6. Social Media Scan. Believe it or not, many admissions counselors will take the time to check out an applicant’s social media profiles. Be smart. Rule of thumb: for the time being, post like your grandmother follows you.
7. Update on Accomplishments. If you’ve achieved any significant accomplishments since your submission date, let your rep know in an informal and friendly email. What’s worth sharing?
8. Keep your grades up. Just do it. Most teachers will start to let up on you a little soon enough. Don’t throw 13 years of hard work away now.
9. Try Not to Obsess. Now that you’ve really done all you can, try not to obsessively check for admissions decisions. Your best bet? Check the site to learn the admissions decision delivery date, mark it in your calendar, and THEN check the status!
Jen Rosier, Owner and Founder, PrepU
Jen Rosier is owner and Founder of PrepU and owner of Tutor Doctor Suburban Boston. An expert in admissions and test prep, Jen is all about simplifying and de-stressing the admissions process. Oh, and helping families afford an education!