CHECK YOUR EMAIL. While it may not be your preferred method of communication it is how colleges will be in touch with you.
A. Once you have submitted your application, you should receive a notice from The Common Application or The Coalition Application confirming that your application was submitted.
B. Shortly after submission, you should also receive an email from each of the schools to which you applied. KEEP THIS EMAIL IN A LOCATION WHERE YOU CAN FIND IT, it is your receipt from the college, and it also contains important information about how to access your application portal.
Sign into your PORTAL for each college.
A. What’s a portal? It is your electronic door into your account with each school. There you will find important information about your application.
B. Carefully read the information sent to you by each school. The way you will initially sign in to your portal may be slightly different for each school. You will be asked to create an account, so make sure you have a place to store your passwords and usernames. Some schools will assign you a username, while others will allow you to create one on your own.
C. Once you are on your portal, look for a link to your application status; again, this location will vary from school to school.
D. On your application status page, you will see a list of items required to complete your submission. They include your application, your transcript or your SSAR depending on the school, your test scores (if required) and recommendations (if required). It generally takes about a week or two for materials to be uploaded to your portal, so if you know you sent test scores to a college and the box is not checked, you can wait for a few days before contacting the school. The same is true for transcripts and recommendations. If your high school sent these items, it will take about seven business days to be registered. Don’t panic if something is not there, but do keep checking back. If any item is not registered as received after 10 days then it is time to contact the college admissions office. Also, check with your school to make sure items have been sent, and check receipts from SAT or ACT to see when scores were released.
E. Once everything is registered as received you can take a bit of a break--BUT--keep in mind that this is the location where most colleges will inform you of their decision regarding your application. For colleges with rolling admissions, you want to check regularly to see if your status has been updated. For colleges with a set release date for decisions, you will be able to see your new status when they release their decisions.
Anything else I should be doing?
Yes. Even though you got a lot done in the first round of applications now is the time to think about what applications may still be pending. If you have Regular Decision or EDII schools on your list, it is time to be working on those applications. Take a moment and review what is still to come.
And what else?
A. KEEP YOUR SENIOR GRADES STRONG. It is not unusual for colleges to ask for first semester senior grades. We have seen many students who have been deferred in the first round of the application process who have been successful in the second round based on their strong first semester grades. Sadly we have also seen the opposite, including students who were accepted and then had that acceptance revoked because of bad grades. You have worked so hard to get to this point, don’t let ‘senioritis’ destroy all that effort. The way you finish high school is a great predictor of how you will start your college career. FINISH STRONG!