The Knewton Blog

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College Admissions Tip: 5 Reasons Not to Wait to Hear From Your Top Choice School

Posted in Test Prep on October 28, 2010 by

This week’s college admissions tip comes from our friends at College Essay Organizer.

We see it year in and year out – students put all their eggs in the basket of their dreams, and are then are left with a surprising amount of work to do in just a couple of weeks when they receive the dreaded thin envelope.

We know that when you send out that early application you feel like senior year is finally behind you and senioritis is finally upon you – like it’s time to kick back and put your feet up on your desk. Not so fast. Here are five reasons you might not want to do that just yet:

1.      You have more work to do than you think. What’s rarely discussed in college admissions circles is that college applications, even if you’re using the Common Application, are usually made up of many essays, long and short. The Common App requires a long and short essay and also asks an optional response, but most schools require additional pieces of writing, called supplemental essays. These are often at full essay length – 250 words, 500 words, or more. And you might have quite a few of these.

2.     Finishing the Common Application for one school doesn’t mean you’re finished with them all. Schools throw these supplemental essays at you for many reasons. To differentiate themselves, to point out the qualities they feel are important in their applicants, or even to whittle the application pool down a bit. But the side effect is that when you’re applying to six, eight, ten or even more universities, the amount of writing you may need to do can easily get out of hand, even if all of your schools accept the Common App.

3.     You need to get organized. College Essay Organizer was born out of a simple need our students had – to organize, keep track of, and efficiently answer an ever-growing list of college application essay questions. We saw students chewing up hours and hours each year trying to make sure they had their apps in order. CEO does that work for you, instantly. You get all your application questions in one place, and even get an automated plan for answering all your questions with as few essays as possible.

4.     Scholarship work is specific to each school. Scholarship and departmental applications can be what really chews up time for some students. Schools very rarely share scholarship opportunities, so scholarships that carry their own applications and essays tend to be specific to each school you apply to. These can pile up as well, so making sure you know what you’re up against ahead of time can help you feel a lot less pressure at the end of the year. CEO helps with that too – we show you optional, scholarship, and department-specific essays as well as the ones your schools require for their primary applications.

5.     The holidays can chew up time at the end of the year. So you’ve just gotten the thin envelope. You’re not exactly feeling on top of the world. Then, on top of that, you have holidays, family gatherings, and New Year’s. Not a great time to be buckling down with a laptop and ten essays to write. Make sure you get these things done ahead of time, and even if things don’t go as planned with your top choice, you’ll still be sitting pretty.

CEO has designed an Essay RoadMap preview to help you see (for FREE) how many essays your schools will require. This should help you get started ahead of time and make sure you’re using your time wisely while writing as few essays as possible for all your questions. Good luck with those early apps!