Plan For College

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Start Now: Why Deadlines Shouldn't Matter

Over and over we hear students (and their parents) ask, when’s the deadline? Truth is, the deadline shouldn’t matter. Get things done as soon as you can and you’ll be in a better position for success.

Many of our clients are through the process by Mid-October. At the College Planning Group, we encourage students to start the Common App as soon as possible after it opens on August 1. In fact, our summer Boot Camps help students complete their application essays in July. As soon as they get back to school, students get their teacher recommendations and complete anything they need to request from guidance. The earlier they get going, the less likely their applications will get caught up in a last-minute application traffic jam. And being done early makes for a much less stressful senior year.
  1. Applying early doesn’t have to mean Early Action or Early Decision. Even if you apply before an Early Action or Early Decision deadline, you can still select Regular Action. The only disadvantage to getting your application in as early as possible is that you’re finished. Wait. That might be an advantage.
  2. Not all deadlines are the same. We’ve seen a growing trend among colleges and universities where merit scholarship deadlines are before the regular admission deadlines. You can still apply regular admission, but if you want to be considered for merit scholarship money (as opposed to need-based loans and scholarships) you may need to have everything in much earlier.
  3. When there isn’t a deadline, there really is. Rolling admissions are popular at a lot of schools. In theory, that means there is no deadline to get your application in, or at worst there is a deadline much later than at other schools. However, rolling admissions means that the school will be extending offers to other students and if you wait too long there may not be as many (or any) slots open.
  4. Always an exception to the rule. Some students need the fall semester grades in order to be a more attractive candidate. For these students, it’s better to complete the application after the first term grades are in. Notice though that this is “to complete the application.” So it still makes sense to get everything in place as early as possible so that it just takes a click of the Submit button once the grades are in.


College Planning Group has helped families through the college application and financial aid process for more than 20 years. Call (781-828-1114) or email us (stan@thecollegeplanninggroup.com) for a free consultation.
www.thecollegeplanninggroup.com


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