One of the most nerve-wracking parts of the college application process is managing the deadlines for all the different pieces of your application. The good news is that there are a bunch of resources out there to help you keep on track and stick to your deadlines. Our favorite types of tools are calendars and to-do lists.
Calendars and Reminders. We love the calendars available on our phones and the Internet. Try plugging in all of your deadlines into your preferred calendar and setting the alarm function to remind you of important dates (for the application, teacher recommendations, financial aid forms…). It's great getting a text message or email letting you know about an upcoming deadline. You can even set multiple reminders so that you get messages two weeks before the deadline, then again a few days before, and even a few hours before you need to submit your forms. Try out your cell phone calendar or check out these options:
To-Do Lists. It's also great to have a to-do list so that you can check off the boxes of the important tasks you've completed. Asked your teachers to write recommendation letters? Check. Requested that the College Board send your SAT scores to the colleges? Check. It's nice to knock things off your list. Shop around for a good FREE online to-do list manager here:
You're going to be wading through tons of college and financial aid websites. Create a bookmark folder in your Internet browser where you can store important college admission, financial aid, and test prep websites that you come across. You could also use delicious.com, or another social bookmarking website, to store links to important pages and share them with your friends who are also applying to college.
Also, try creating a folder in your email account where you store college information. You may be emailing with admission and financial aid offices, so you'll want to keep all of those emails on hand for reference.
Different colleges use different applications. One of the hardest things about applying to college is keeping each school’s requirements and systems straight. Consider making a spreadsheet using Google Docs, or another spreadsheet program, in which you answer these questions for each college you're applying to.
Does the college: