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When To Start College Applications

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College Application Deadlines 2021

How/When to start the college application process

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A new college application season is around the corner. Therefore, its important that you know when your colleges deadlines are so that you can prepare as early as possible. To ease your college application process, weve compiled general information on 2021-2022 college application deadlines. We did our best to cover a wide majority of universities. Keep reading to find out 2021-2022 college application deadlines for regular decision, early action, early decision, and more!

A Spike In Your Extracurriculars

Almost every college will want to know what kinds of extracurricular activities you do or have done in your spare time.

Indeed, 49% of colleges surveyed regard students’ extracurricular activities moderately or considerably important. Ask yourself: what are your interests outside of school and how do you engage in them?

The trick here is to provide not a list of all the random activities you’ve done but rather a detailed overview of one to two of your most passionate interests and any big achievements you’ve made in them.

In other words, you need to figure out what your “spike” is, a concept which PrepScholar co-founder and Harvard alum Allen Cheng describes in his expert guide on how to get into the Ivy League.

To put it simply, a spike is deep accomplishment in and knowledge of a particular field.

As an example, say you plan to major in biology. You’ll stand out as an applicant if you have tons of biology- or science-related experiences under your belt. Maybe you’re part of your school’s biology club, or maybe you volunteered at a local research lab, which taught you the basics of handling lab equipment.

In addition to having a variety of experiences and sufficient background knowledge in the field, you want to highlight any relevant major accomplishments you have. For instance, maybe you won a science fair your sophomore year of high school most recently, you submitted an award-winning invention idea to a national contest

Rock Your Standardized Tests

  • When to start: Sophomore year

Even though some colleges have minimized the importance of standardized tests in admissions, your standardized test scores are still a crucial component of your application to most colleges. Its a good rule of thumb to start studying for the SAT/ACT during your sophomore year. Also, you may want to take the PSAT or PreACT during your sophomore year to familiarize yourself with standardized tests.

To give yourself the best chance of reaching your target score and to decrease your stress level, we recommend first taking your SAT/ACT in the fall of your junior year.

If you dont reach your target score on your first attempt, you can do more studying and retake the test in the spring of your junior year. If you achieve the score youre hoping for by the end of your junior year, youll have more time during your senior year to focus on your schoolwork, extracurriculars, and college applications. If youre still unsatisfied with your score at the end of your junior year, you have more time to study over the summer and retake the test in the fall.

Make sure you know when is the last time you can take the SAT/ACT. Your deadline for taking the SAT/ACT is dependent upon the specific schools you apply to and whether or not you apply early.

If youre considering applying to a school that requires SAT Subject Tests, I also recommend taking those by the end of your junior year.

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When Do College Applications Open For 2021

The majority of college applications for the 2021-2022 application cycle open on August 1, 2021. This includes both the Common and Coalition Applications. Both applications allow you to apply to a wide variety of public and private institutions.

If youre looking to get a head start, however, you can complete the general application components at any time before August 1st . Just know that you will not get access to specific colleges application components until the official opening date .

On the other hand, schools that use proprietary applications typically open them or . Specific dates vary by school, so we recommend you check beforehand!

In terms of school specific application components, theyre usually quite similar school-to-school, but certain components like essay questions may differ. On the bright side, though, school-specific essays are usually far shorter than the main application essay. Think ~250 words rather than 650, which is significant.

No matter when and where you apply, there are some basic things youll need to submit to apply to colleges. These include college essay, recommendation letters, official high school transcripts, and standardized test scores .

So, now that weve gone over when applications open, when do they close? Lets see.

Takeaways: What Looks Good On A College Application

011 Essay Example How To Start An College Essays Writing ...

Applying to college is tough, and knowing what to put on your applications to make yourself stand out is even tougher. What looks really good on a college application?

Generally speaking, colleges want to see your passion, intellectual curiosity, willingness to challenge yourself, and academic accomplishments.

More specifically, though, colleges typically prefer applicants who have most or all of the following characteristics:

  • Good grades and a challenging course load
  • Strong test scores
  • Honest, specific, and eloquent essays
  • A spike in your extracurricular activities
  • Compelling letters of recommendation
  • Volunteer experience with clear impact on the groups or places you’ve helped
  • Any relevant or impactful work experience

Finally, as you apply to college and try to think of good things to put on a college application, make sure you’re aware of the following truths about the application process:

  • It’s better to have a spike than to be well rounded
  • Essays are important!
  • A B in a hard course is more impressive than an A in an easy course
  • You can still get into your dream school even if your application isn’t perfect

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Problems & Delays Are Likely

Your transcripts can get lost on the way to a school. Someones computer may crash with your recommendation in it. Your computer could crash with all of your application essays in it. When you take the ACT or SAT, youll end up sitting next to someone who cries the whole way through it, which will kill your concentration and end up giving you a terrible score . Trust mecollege application time is a magnet for unexpected problems and delays. < />

Point being, if you start your apps late, youre giving yourself no time to fix these unexpected roadblocks. If you start early, then theyre just minor speed bumps that you can easily fix with a phone call or email.

When To Apply For College: Complete Timeline

Many students start college in the fall after they graduate high school, but their planning and applying starts years before. Application deadlines may be in the fall or winter of senior year, and completing each step on the path to college might start as early as freshman year.

This article answers all your questions about when to apply for college: when do you complete each step of the process, and when are your college deadlines? After reading this, you’ll know exactly when to apply to college and what steps are needed.

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Transferring From Another College

You are a transfer student if you have previously attended college outside of the Los Rios Community College District .

It’s easy to apply to American River College simply create an OpenCCC account and fill out the online application for American River College.

A few things to know:

  • You can save your application and come back to it at any time.
  • You will have a chance to review your application before you submit it.
  • You only need to submit one application to take classes at any college in the Los Rios district don’t spend unnecessary time submitting separate applications for each college.

Submit Your Transcripts and Test Scores

Official transcripts from all other educational institutions must be submitted prior to enrollment to satisfy math and English prerequisites, as well as inform Veterans educational benefits and financial aid. Transcripts can be sent to the following address:

American River College

If you are sending your transcript electronically, request that it is sent to: .

If you have questions, contact Admissions & Records at 484-8261.

You are considered a returning student if you previously attended a Los Rios college , but did not attend during the previous semester.


Returning students must first complete an application in order to be re-activated as a student.

Meet With a Counselor

Contact the Counseling Center to schedule an appointment or to find out about the availability of drop-in counseling.

Enroll in Classes

Take The Right Classes

When to Start Writing Your College Application Essays
  • When to start: Before freshman year

Colleges will look at the classes you took during high school to get a sense of your college readiness. The most selective schools want to admit students who have challenged themselves and are willing to push themselves academically.

You dont have to take every single honors and AP course, but if you want to get into a top college, you need to show that you can excel in some of the hardest courses that your school offers. Spend ample time consideringwhich classes to take and whether those classes will allow you to pursue your academic interests and reach your college goals. Specifically, consider which science,math,history,foreign language,English,elective, andAP classes you should take.

In fact, you should begin thinking about which classes to take before your freshman year of high school. Now, we know: it can be tough to know what you want to study before you even start high school! A good way to decide which advanced classes to take is to look at your past grades and interests. For instance, if you made straight As in junior high math, taking honors math in high school may be a good fit for you. If you got really excited about lab days in seventh grade biology, signing up for honors biology would be the thing to do.

Challenging yourself makes you stronger.

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When Do You Apply Under Regular Decision

The most common regular decision deadlines are in . January 1 is a common date, making for a busy winter break! January 15 and January 31 are popular ones, too.

Some schools with are Boston University, Harvard, NYU, and Yale, among many others. Students who apply under regular decision usually hear back about their admissions decisions in March or April. Since regular decision deadlines are in the winter, how does your college planning schedule differ from that to meet an early deadline?

Compelling Letters Of Recommendation

Most colleges require at least one letter of recommendation from either your high school counselor or a high school teacher .

The 2019 NACAC survey indicates that 54% of colleges consider teacher recommendations at least moderately important, while a higher 55% consider counselor recommendations the same. Therefore, we can say it’s pretty important to secure great recommendation letters for your application.

If you’re asking for a letter from a teacher, make sure to choose someone whose class you got a high grade in and who is familiar with your abilities, ambitions, and interests. Typically, you’ll need to submit at least one letter from a teacher who taught a core class .

It’s a good idea to also get a letter from a teacher who works in the field you plan to major in. So if you got an A in AP English and plan to major in English, asking that teacher for a recommendation letter would give a great boost to your application.

While you don’t have to be best buddies with the teacher you ask, they should definitely know you well, beyond the classroom, so they can effectively explain to admissions committees what makes you special, that is, what makes you worth admitting.

For example, if you did research with a particular teacher, are part of a club this teacher coaches or leads, or helped out this teacher with a project, this would be a good person to ask to write a letter for you.

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Filling Out The Application

If you have never applied for admission to Foothill College or you are a returning student and it’s been awhile, please review Tips for Completing the Online Application to help you with the process.

Get your first TWO years of college free!

We encourage all first-time, full-time students to apply for Financial Aid.

After you submit your online admission application, complete a Financial Aid FAFSA or Dream Act Application.

Eligibility for Foothill College Promise is not based on financial need but rather if you maintain full-time status for the quarter in which you receive benefits, excluding summer term.

Note: Effective fall 2021, only Foothill Promise students who meet one of the following criteria will have their required textbooks covered:

  • You qualified for the 2020-21 Foothill Promise program as a first-year student
  • You are a member of EOPS, Puente or Umoja
  • You are a verified current or former foster youth

How To Write A College Application Essay

001 How To Start College Essay About Yourself Off Good ...

  • Just get going. Staring down a blank page can be the hardest part of writing an essay. So try this exercise to overcome writers block: Take 20 minutes to jot down a few quick lists of your proudest accomplishments, worst embarrassments, life-changing moments, strongest memories, favorite people, or any other categories that appeal to you.
  • Give yourself an early start. Few people write well under pressure, so give yourself at least a few weeks before the submission deadline. You dont have to work on your essay every single day, but you do have to give yourself enough time to revise, to edit, and then to show your first draft to a friend for feedback.
  • Avoid a theme that everyone else is using. Your essay will be easier to writeand more exciting to readif its based on genuine emotion and authentic experience.
  • Sound like your best self. Admissions counselors say that the best essays help them learn something about the student that they would never know from reading the rest of the application.
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    Strategies For Starting Your College Application Process

  • Be purposeful in your searching: It’s June and you are early enough in the selection process that your list of colleges may still be growing. This is not a problem as long as you are purposeful in your deliberations.
  • Work toward a short list: While your college list might be in flux at the moment, you need to establish September 1 as the point at which you will have narrowed it down to the schools about which you care the most.
  • Visit college campuses: One of the biggest mistakes highly qualified students make as they apply for admission is the decision to put off the campus visit until after the admission decision has been made.
  • Research application requirements for colleges of interest: As your short list begins to materialize, develop a spreadsheet on which you can track the test requirements, essay topics, and submission deadlines.
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    When Should I Start The College Admissions Process

    The earlier you can start, the better your chances of getting into a top school might be.

    As a high-achieving and motivated student, you may dream of getting into an Ivy League or other elite school. Knowing when to start preparing yourself for the epic journey that is the college admissions process is important. In general, the earlier you can get started in the process the better it will be for you. Your preparation for college and to get the best scores on your standardized admissions tests should be continuous, starting from the beginning of your freshman year until you graduate from high school.

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    From October To January

    Start on college applications in October. Begin by making a list of colleges you are applying to and the requirements for each college. Keep referring to the list when putting together your application to make sure you have adhered to all the instructions.

    If applying early action or early decision, you will need to get your application ready to submit by November. For regular admissions, you have till about the end of December or the beginning of Jan to submit your application. Rolling admissions generally accept applications year-round.

    Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the USfor FREE!

    When Should I Start Applying To Transfer To Another College

    HOW TO START YOUR COLLEGE APPLICATIONS NOW *even if you’re not a senior*

    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.

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