I don’t know about you, but this fall has been exhausting. It’s back to setting the alarm, so we can get up and go to the office and school again. It’s running around with after-school activities and social events. They never used to be tiring from what I remember, but suddenly, it felt like a big deal after all these months working and schooling from home.
Our time management skills and motivations, especially for students, had to be revisited. On top of this, many people have been thinking about applying to colleges, which takes additional time and energy. Some assume the process is hard or the window has passed, but it’s simply not true!
Let’s talk numbers, so you see how easy this process can be:
There are approximately 3,675 accredited colleges and universities in the US alone. Of those 3,675 schools, 2,180 are four-year colleges, according to the Big Future search on College Board.
Of the 2,180 schools, 973 use the Common Application. According to the Common Application grid:
- Only 11 schools have deadlines before January 1. Basically, you still have time to apply to hundreds of colleges if you wish!
- Only 181 have deadlines before February 1. Wait, whhhaaat?
- Only 452 (that’s half the Common App schools) have deadlines before JULY 1! Mind blown!
- 498 schools have no application fee, so you have nothing to lose by applying.
- 487 schools have NO personal essay to write. You just do the short form and send it in to lots of schools all at once.
- 896 schools have NO supplemental essays. So, basically only 77 schools on the Common App have additional writing beyond the personal essay. (One warning is that a few schools have what we call stealth essays, which only pop up once you fill out the app.)
I don’t know about you, but I feel so misled by all the scary media headlines about how hard college admissions is and how much time and energy and money you must put into applying.
If you want to attend the most costly, prestigious, highly selective/rejective colleges out there, you will have to do TONS of work, but most colleges want YOU to apply, and there are so many colleges just right for you!
So, hopefully this convinces you to apply. The question is now: what do you do to start and finish this process?
- We highly encourage you to fill out the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, as soon as possible if you have any thoughts of attending college in the next year. It takes most families 30-60 minutes to fill out this form. If you live in a state where a College Advising Corps is, they will give you free advice and help to fill out this form. They also have virtual advisers who can help if you are not near one of their offices.
- Think about what’s important to you in attending college. Basically, why do you want to go and what do you hope to gain by attending? If you can answer those questions, it’s always easier to find a school you will be successful at and enjoy.
- Go to the schools’ websites and see what you need to do to apply. Or create a Common App account, fill it out, and apply to some schools that accept this app. Chances are high that you can find at least one Common App school you want to attend.
- Follow up with the school’s admissions office and/or financial aid office if you have questions. Pace yourself! You don’t have to get it all done in one day. Set aside an hour a day, or do one app per day. It’s always easier to finish a big process when you break it down into smaller steps and pieces.
We know life has been extra stressful and unpredictable for the last few years. However, the college admissions process does not have to be stressful. So, stop reading now and get to those applications!
About Us: With more than twenty years of experience, Collegewise counselors and tutors are at the forefront of the ever-evolving admissions landscape. Our work has always centered on you: the student. And just like we’ve always done, we look for ways for you to be your best self - whether it’s in the classroom, in your applications or in the right-fit college environment. Our range of tools include counseling, test prep, academic tutoring, and essay management, all with the support of our proprietary platform, leading to a 4x higher than average admissions rates.