Applying to a college or university is a long process with many steps. When you finally click the “submit” button, you may feel like your work is done and now you can finally devote your time to catching up on your favorite TV shows. While it’s definitely true that you’ll have more free time, you will need to periodically check in to make sure that every part of the application process is flowing the way it should. After all, it is your application and your life! Who better to take care of it than you? To make sure that everything goes well, be sure to avoid these common setbacks.
1. Ignoring the mail
After applying to college, you will want to keep a close eye out for any type of correspondence from schools. Although some schools have gotten more tech-savvy in recent years, believe it or not, many colleges still rely on snail mail for communication. So maybe you’re not usually paying much attention to the mail, but there is a chance you can receive postcards letting you know if any pieces of your college application are missing and admissions decision letters in the mail—and we bet that you’ll want to be the first one to open them!
2. Not following through on Financial Aid
There are several steps in the financial aid process, and the worst thing you can do is to submit your financial aid application and then sit back and wait for the money to roll in. First, review your Student Aid report (SAR), which you’d receive after submitting a FAFSA application to make sure that all of your personal information is correct on your SAR. Also double check that all of the schools you applied to are listed. Because financial aid is particularly tricky, we’ve included a video below on what to do after filling out the FAFSA.
3. Failing to follow up on Transcripts
Make sure to triple check that high school transcripts were received by the schools I applied to. It often takes longer than expected for schools to receive them, and on rare occasions they might get lost in the mail.
4. Missing Deadlines
Most colleges and universities provide deadlines for when you must make a decision as to whether or not you chose to enroll in their school and submit your deposit. So please be courteous and timely with your admissions decisions. The school that’s last on your list may be someone else’s first choice!
5. Staying Undecided
After being accepted to a few schools, it could prove difficult to choose between them. Don’t let months pass by while you deliberate. Instead, plan a visit and walk around the campus, talk to current students, eat in the dining hall and visit the dorms. If you can imagine yourself being happy and comfortable there, then you know you’ve found the right school and can enroll confidently!