Most students heave a sigh of relief after they click on the college application submit button.
Some of these same students find themselves in a panic when they learn that components of their application package may not have arrived at the admissions office.
As a college consultant, I advise all my clients to check the status of their applications. Many schools offer applicants an easy “check status” option on their website. If something appears to be missing, call or email the admissions office to inquire. Most of the time, there is no reason to be alarmed. Usually, the missing item(s) have been received but haven’t been logged in the system.
For each school to which you apply, it’s a good idea to confirm that required recommendations (teacher evaluations and counselor’s report), transcripts and entrance exam scores, and other forms have been sent and received. Also, make sure that you have paid the required application fee. You may be able to confirm the fee payment on your credit card website.
Some colleges offer merit scholarships that require additional applications and essays. Check the college’s website for deadlines and relevant information.
If you are applying for financial aid, be sure to complete the required forms and applications, such as the FAFSA and CSS Financial Aid Profile. The FAFSA is an essential part of being eligible for state and federal grants. You also cannot obtain a federal student loan without filling out a FAFSA. Many schools have specific financial aid deadlines. Usually, this information is available on the college’s website.
Finally, some colleges and universities offer, suggest or require interviews. These interviews may take place on-campus or in the applicant’s local area. Often the applicant is required to take specific steps to schedule the interview. If interviews are offered, check the school’s website for deadlines and specific requirements.
Follow our checklist upon submitting your college application to confirm that all required materials have been received:
1. Application Fee
2. Teacher Evaluations, Counselor’s Report, Recommendations
3. Transcript and Additional Grade Reports (e.g. First Quarter & Mid Year)
4. Entrance Exams (if applicable — SAT, ACT, Subject Tests)
5. Interview (if applicable)
6. Housing Form (if applicable)
7. Financial Aid Forms (if applicable)
8. Scholarship Forms and Applications
9. Other Forms (e.g., international, performing arts)