You’re eager to click “Submit” after spending so much time working on your college application…but WAIT! Don’t hit “submit” before going over your application one last time and making sure each of the following six items are checked off your to-do list:
1. Your application presents an accurate, holistic picture of you.
Check (and then double check) that each section of your college application presents you at your very best. The adcoms want to gain a clear picture of who you are as an individual and future student at their school. Make sure that all information is accurate and that each section complements the others, similar to how a single puzzle piece can be combined with others to create a cohesive, complete picture.
2. You’ve shown the adcoms why you should attend your target program.
Admissions readers want to get to know you for the sole purpose of determining whether or not you’d be a good fit for their school. Show how you’re a perfect fit by expressing (if not explicitly, then implicitly) why School X is perfect for you – what you will gain from the program, as well as how you will contribute to it.
3. Your recommenders got the job done.
Two things here: You want to make sure that your recommenders filled out the paperwork and sent it in on time, and that they did a good job. Your role in all this is to choose the best recommenders – that is, people who know you well and who will provide specific examples of those characteristics that they claim you have.
4. Someone has looked over your essays.
Your college essays aren’t complete until you’ve had a second set of eyes (or third or fourth) review them. Recruit a family member, friend, or an Accepted.com editor to read your essays and provide constructive criticism. Don’t be shy or defensive; you want to be made aware of every error so that you can fix it before the buzzer.
5. You’ve proofread your entire application.
Your essays aren’t the only application elements that need editing (though they may require the most attention). You should proofread your entire application for spelling, grammar, and stylistic errors. Everything should look neat and clean and should read clearly and smoothly, and most of all, error-free. You’ll have an easier time catching errors if you read your personal statement out loud during this final proofreading stage.
6. You still have some time.
Rushing your application may force you to conduct a less thorough final edit, or to skip filling out a section entirely. The last thing you want is to spend so much time on an application, only to submit something sloppy because you lost track of time. Submitting a day or two early will ensure that you’re submitting your application because you’re truly ready to do so, and not because you have 6 minutes before it’s too late, so you’d better send it in before you miss your chance. Additionally, servers are often overloaded due to heavy last-minute volume. Play it safe.