Are you a senior in high school? You may be wondering what you need to get done for college applications before winter break!
#1: Finalize your college list
If you’re a high school senior, you are probably busy during the month of December. Don’t let your college list wait until later! Most college counselors will make you finalize your list early, but you may be thinking you can just add some more to your common app later. However, there’s a big problem with waiting to finish your list over winter break. There may be parts of your application you need to get help for. If you need to ask a teacher or counselor any questions, you need to do so before winter break starts. This is why you should finalize your list before break, so you know all the parameters of every application.
You may be waiting to get your early action results back before you worry too much about other applications. You should still finalize a list with contingencies now.
#2: Figure out what you need for your college apps
You need to go through every college application you plan on filling out and find out what you need. Whether it’s the common app, the coalition app, or an independent app, you need to go through it and read every single question. This doesn’t mean you have to fill it out now, but you need to know everything in the app for two reasons.
The first reason is because you may need something that requires you to speak to your teacher or school counselor, or go to your school. If you wait until break to look over these questions, your school may not be available. The second reason is that you may have questions you want to ask your teachers, and again, winter break will mean your school and teachers aren’t accessible. Make sure to check to see if you need extra supplements, such as music or art. You may also need a different kind of letter of recommendation. Or even one more letter of recommendation then you were expecting!
#3: Talk to your counselor
Talk to your counselor before winter break begins! You need to tell them if there is anything outstanding that they need to submit for your applications. Make sure your transcript has been sent to all the places it needs to go. Find out if there are any colleges that need an official transcript that your counselor has to put together in some way. Double check if you need a letter from your counselor, and make sure you have asked them all the questions you have about your applications. If you ask them early, and not two days before winter break, your counselor will thank you!
#4: Ask your teachers for letters of recommendation
If you have any outstanding letters of recommendation that you need, make sure to ask your teachers for them now. Don’t forget that teachers have lives too! It’s always a good idea to give them at least two to three weeks to write letters of recommendation. But remember to give them plenty of time before the break starts. Just because you might have a lot of free time over the break, that doesn’t mean your teachers want to spend that time working on letters for you. They may have vacations and other obligations they need to take care of.