Your applications are in, and you are enjoying that wonderful feeling of relief that comes with the last early submission, but don’t put away those usernames and passwords just yet. Make sure to check your emails regularly, as well as the specific application portals for each college. Do not panic if you are notified that your application is incomplete, as the missing document probably has not been logged into the system yet. It's also a good idea to keep copies of your applications, just in case a document does get lost.
If you are applying for financial aid, make sure you are submitting the required documents, such as the FAFSA and the CSS Profile. This year, the FAFSA won't be available until mid-December, but the CSS Profile can be completed now.
Be sure to keep up with schoolwork. Even if you have been accepted early at your favorite school, an offer of admission is always contingent upon the successful completion of your senior year. If your grades are significantly lower or you have lightened your course load, you could jeopardize your admission. Be sure to notify the admission office if you decide to drop a class or make any other changes to your schedule.
Some colleges will request interviews after you have submitted your application. Make sure to be prepared by practicing your interview skills. You may be asked to discuss your interests and experiences. Make sure you can answer the question about why you want to attend that particular school. It is also a good idea to have questions prepared for the interviewer.
If you submitted letters of recommendation, it is important to write thank you notes to those who took the time to write them for you. Teachers and counselors spend a tremendous amount of time doing this for students each year. Show them some appreciation.
Most importantly, celebrate your achievements despite the outcome of admission decisions. Be open to alternate plans. Sometimes, they work out better than you expect.
It could be a few months before you find out where you have been admitted. Try not to obsess about upcoming decisions; find other things to occupy your time. Spending more time on community service is a productive way to channel your energy, and helping others can make you feel good about yourself.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published by The College Advisor, and prepared for our clients and their families.