Road Map for November: Seniors

Congratulations to all of you who submitted applications in the early round! While you may not be finished with your whole list, I know having this round complete is a great feeling.

Your next step is to log into each college’s portal to confirm that your application is complete. The portal often flags items like self-reported grades or test scores that some colleges want submitted through a mechanism other than the application itself. If you are confident that your transcripts, test scores and/or letters of recommendation have been sent but are not showing up as received, don’t panic. It can take a couple weeks for supporting documents to be processed and linked to your application. A call to the admissions office can usually resolve this issue, or at least give you a timeline for when to expect the portal to be updated. In addition, many colleges don’t consider your application to be late even if documents were not received by the deadline, as long as your part was submitted on time. If you’re not sure whether documents have been sent, however, be sure to follow up right away with your school counselor, recommenders or testing agency.

For your remaining applications I recommend creating and sticking to a timeline with lots of wiggle room built in. Ideally, my goal for students is to have everything submitted by Thanksgiving. Don’t forget to build in any separate applications for honors programs, scholarships, or other opportunities for which you will not be automatically considered by the admissions office.

Families should also be working on financial aid applications to the extent possible. Although the FAFSA is not available until December (exact date TBD), the CSS Profile is available for students and parents to complete now. Check this list of participating institutions to see if the Profile needs to be on your to do list, and then check each individual school’s deadline for submitting financial aid forms.