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When Do You Start Applying For College

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Important Info Before You Apply

Senior Year Advice | How to apply to a top college, how to pick a college, essay tips, and MORE!
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What Are The Potential Downsides Of Applying Early

Early rejections can lead to hastily completed regular applications.;You might be tempted to delay work on regular admission applications until you’ve heard from your “early” colleges. But if you do, you’ll scramble to meet admission deadlines, and risk submitting less-than-stellar applications.;

An early application might lead to a deferral. One outcome of applying early is being deferred;to the regular application pool. The college is not saying “no,” but it is looking for more reasons to say “yes.” If this happens, your best strategy is to work hard to earn top grades throughout your senior year and show your interest to the admissions office.

What Is Early Admission To College

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Applying early to college under an early decision or early action plan offers advantages as well as drawbacks. Here are some things to consider.

How early should you apply for college? At some schools, the answer is simply “anytime before the deadline.” But at other schools, students have the option to submit their applications much earlier. These students usually receive their admissions decisions before winter break, and they might even have a better chance of getting in, depending on the college.

But applying early isn’t the best decision for all students. Here’s what you need to know about early admission and how to decide if it’s the right plan for you.

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Quick Tips For Getting Your Applications In On Time

Now that you know what you need to apply, here are a few quick tips to streamline the application process and make sure you meet your college application deadlines:

Start early: Even if youre planning to apply to schools on a rolling basis, dont put off tasks for the last minute. Set aside enough time for each application component because almost everything takes longer than you anticipate.

Create a college application calendar: From meeting with your school counselor to tracking all testing and academic requirements prepare a college application calendar marking deadlines for every important step.

Fill out the Common Application: The Common Application is an undergraduate online college application form used by over 900 schools in the US. Its a huge time saver because you only need to fill out the details once to apply to any number of the registered schools.;

Notify your school: Colleges ask for a copy of your high school transcript and a letter of recommendation, which is why you need to let school officials know where you intend to apply at least a month prior to application.

Set deadlines before the deadline: Beat procrastination and set a personal deadline for yourself at least a few days before the actual deadline.

And Don’t Rely On Someone Else’s Words Ditch The Opening Quotes

When Can You Start Applying For College

Quotations are top of the list of admissions tutors’ pet hates. They particularly dislike it if you put a quotation in right at the start and it’s even worse if you don’t actually explain why it’s there.

It’s your statement, after all. They don’t want to know what Nelson Mandela thought;;they want to know what you think!

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Tips For Your College Essays

The college essay is a unique piece of writing. It requires you to be introspective and to share something thats meaningful to you on a personal level. The best essays tend to zero in on a particular experience that reveals something significant about the writers identity.

The personal essays a challenging assignment, so you should give yourself several months to work on it. You might take several weeks to brainstorm the right topic. Once you come up with a draft, you might share with teachers, friends, and families for feedback. Ultimately, though, the essay should be in your voice and stay true to who you are.

As an international student, you may be able to bring unique multicultural experiences or language skills to campus. Your essays a great opportunity to share your perspective and show admissions officers why it should be represented on campus.

Supplemental essays, while not as lengthy as the personal essay, are also an important part of your application. Probably the most common mistake that students make with supplemental essays is rushing through them and producing generic answers. Your supplemental essays should be specific and customized to each school.;Theyre typically an opportunity for you to show what you know about the college and your particular reasons for wanting to attend.

Ask a teacher who’s happy to paint a flattering picture of you in her letter of recommendation.

How To Start Your Personal Statement

Firstly, don’t begin with the overkill opening.

One of the dangers of trying to come up with a great opening sentence is that you can end up overthinking it, and going overboard. As one admissions tutor said: ‘Be succinct and draw the reader in, but not with a gimmick. This isn’t the X Factor.

Admissions tutors often mention;this.;They emphasised the need for candidates to engage the reader with your perceptions or ideas, not by something flashy.

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Connect The Beginning Of Your Statement To The End

A final thought. One technique that can be effective is the ‘necklace approach’. This is when you make a link between your opening sentence and closing paragraph, reinforcing and adding an extra dimension at the end to what you said at the start.

For example, if you started with an interesting line about what is currently motivating to study your chosen degree course, you could link back to it in your closing paragraph, perhaps with something about why you would love to study this further at uni.

What else are you struggling with in your personal statement?

If you’re in the early stages of writing your personal statement, take a look at our beginners guide that covers everything you need to know to write your personal statement, or use our personal statement tool;to create an easy first draft to work from.

Start your search now

Learn How To Apply For Private Student Loans

When Should Students Apply for Scholarships?

Both parents and students can apply for private student loans. However, there are different student loan requirements for private loans versus federal loans.

For example, private lenders have strict requirements for your credit score and debt-to-income ratio, which is calculated by dividing your monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income. Lenders use your debt-to-income ratio to determine if you can afford the amount you want to borrow.

Because there are many private student loan lenders, its a good idea to shop around. You should consider:

  • Loan eligibility requirements: What do you need to qualify?
  • Loan terms: How long do you have to repay the loan?
  • Repayment terms: When do you need to start repaying? Is there a prepayment penalty?
  • Fees: Is there a cost to apply for the loan or a loan origination fee?
  • Interest rates: Is the rate fixed or variable? How much will you pay to borrow?

You can visit our private student loan marketplace to find private student loan lenders offering loans to parents and students.

Youll need much of the same information you needed when you filled out your FAFSA to apply for private college loans. While there isnt a deadline to apply like there is with the FAFSA, you should apply as early as possible to ensure you have enough time to receive approval and funding.

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Dont Underestimate The Sat/act Or Toefl

Doing well on standardized tests is important for all college applicants, and it becomes even more significant for international students in the USA. The TOEFL shows admissions officers that you have the reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills to succeed in college-level classes. The SAT and ACT, furthermore, show your academic skills and college readiness.

These tests are meant to measure students on a level playing field, regardless of differences in individual high schools and curriculum . Admissions officers may be unfamiliar with your school abroad, so they especially rely on these test scores to make sure you have college-ready skills.

As discussed above, you should set aside several months to prep for each test and leave yourself additional test dates if you want to retest and achieve your target scores. If your sights are set on a U.S. college, then make sure you have the SAT or ACT and TOEFL scores to compete with other applicants.

Early Decision College Application Deadlines

Early decision is similar to early action,with college application deadlines usually falling on November 1 or 15. The crucial distinction is that its a binding agreement, which means you must attend the school if youre selected.

Applying for early decision also means applicants have to make do with the colleges financial aid package and dont have the opportunity to consider financial aid awards from other schools. However, if a college offers an early decision applicant an inadequate financial aid package, that is the one instance they may turn down the offer.

Some schools also offer early decision II, which has application deadlines closer to those of regular decision . Just like early decision I, early decision II is a binding agreement. So whats the advantage? Youll hear back earlier than you would under regular decision, and it shows the college its your first choice school and youre fully committed to attending.

Who should apply:The early decision option works well when applicants are entirely confident about the school they want to attend. For students with specific financial aid needs who want to consider offers from multiple schools, early decision may not be the best option.

READ MORE: How to Apply for Grants and Scholarships

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When Should I Start Applying To Transfer To Another College

You should begin;well before the universitys;posted deadline date;. At;some colleges, the application;deadline;means,; that was the last day for all components of the;admissions file; to;be completed; not the last day that a student can put;the application;in the mail. The majority of colleges and universities have moved away from using paper applications. Even many of those who still have;paper available, have also got their application;posted;on line for an electronic submission. There really is no excuse for being late.

A general rule of thumb;is file your applications at the very beginning of which ever is to be your last full term/semester before the intended transfer. If you hope to begin at the next college for the Fall term, you should be filing the application at the very beginning of the Spring term. Likewise, if you are applying to begin at the next college for the January term then you should be filing your applications by mid-September of the Fall term. Colleges that announce that they have rolling admission mean that they will continue taking applications until they fill up. This does give a student a bit more flexibility about applying but remember, if you are applying for a competitive major, when its full, they will stop without further notice.

Beginning Your Personal Statement Tips From The Experts

Quick how

We spoke to a number of admissions tutors to get their number one tip for starting a personal statement. This is what they said:

Maybe don’t begin at the start?

Some tutors even suggested you shouldn’t even begin at the start…

  • ‘I think the opening line is the hardest one to write, so I often say leave it until last and just try and get something down on paper.’
  • ‘Don’t spend too long on the introduction. Concentrate on the main content of your statement and write the introduction last.’
  • ‘I often advise applicants to start with paragraph two, where you get into why you want to study the course. That’s what we’re really interested in.’

The best statements tend to be genuine and specific from the very start. So you’ll be on the right track if you explain your enthusiasm for the subject or course, your understanding of it, and what you want to achieve from it.

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Everything You Need To Know About College Application Deadlines

Youve spent days shortlisting your favorite colleges, picking a major, and planning for federal aid. Dont let all that effort go up in smoke by missing your college application deadlines!

To make sure you dont blow your chance at your dream school, its crucial to keep track of college application dates and set a schedule for compiling your application materials on time. That all sounds good but where do you start?

This step-by-step guide will help you to not only meet deadlines like a pro but also know what to do if you miss one .

Faqs About College Application Deadlines

If the deadline was firm, you still have plenty of options. You can apply to other colleges through rolling admissions, or consider applying in the next round of applications and starting school in the spring. If youre eager to enroll in classes right away, you always take classes at a community college and transfer your credits later on .

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Review Your Student Aid Report

After youve filled out your FAFSA, youll receive a copy of your Student Aid Report , which summarizes your financial information and provides information about your Expected Family Contribution . If you identify any mistakes, log in to FAFSA to make corrections.

Heres a sample of the reports federal student loans section:

Image: Federal Student Aid

Your SAR will be sent to the colleges you listed when you completed the FAFSA, and theyll use it to provide information on the financial aid youre eligible for.

When Should You Ask For Recommendations


Most college applications require you to submit two or three letters of recommendation from teachers or counselors who know you well. The good news about these letters is that you dont have to spend time crafting them! The bad news is that you need to ask your teachers to write them for you, which can be uncomfortable, since you are asking them to go above and beyond their everyday commitments.;

With this in mind, you should aim to ask for letters of recommendation sooner rather than later in senior year. Ideally, you should broach the topic with the teachers who know you best toward the end of your junior year, giving them the whole summer to think about what they would want to write and craft an outstanding letter.;

If you dont approach your teachers by the end of your junior year or over the summer before senior year, you should certainly ask them at the beginning of your senior year. Generally speaking, you should give your teacher at minimum a few months to write a letter of recommendation from the time you first ask; then, politely check in every few weeks or so to see how the letter is progressing and ensure that your recommender doesnt require additional information . By giving your teachers plenty of notice and checking in periodically during your senior fall, you can do your best to ensure that you get a strong letter of recommendation from each of your teachers.;

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International And Eu Students

Most students apply independently all the advice and help you need can be found here on, or by asking us questions on or .;

  • They can sometimes help you with your UCAS application or visa application.
  • Its your choice whether you use an adviser or not they can offer valuable support, but if you dont use an adviser youll not be disadvantaged in any way.
  • If the adviser is registered as a UCAS centre they will have access to the best advice and can oversee your application through UCAS online system. These centres are widely considered as a trusted source of applications by universities and colleges.
  • Please note some advisers may charge for their services if they are agents.
  • How To Apply For College In The Us As An International Student

    According to the Institute of International Education, more than a million international students studied at colleges in the United States last year. If youre hoping to be one of those students, then this guide is for you.

    To help you through the college application process, this guide will go over all the steps you need to take, from translating your transcript to taking the TOEFL. Before jumping into the process of international student admissions, lets review how your application process is the same as a U.S. student’s and how its different.

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    When Should I Start Applying To College

    Applying to college is a rite of passage for most high school students. Sometime around a students sophomore year, they may begin to wonder when they should begin this process. Much of when to start applying for college depends on the students personal goals, which makes the answer somewhat subjective. However, many schools have clear guidelines on when they would like students to apply.

    When Should I Start Applying To Colleges

    When Can You Start Applying For Colleges

    The best time to start preparing for the college application process is your sophomore or junior year of high school. Look at career options and apply for internships or job shadowing opportunities in careers that look interesting. Interview people in those careers about the education they needed. Sign up for related courses in high school. Start actually applying to colleges a year before you want to enter college.

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