It’s the fall, aka ‘Crunch Time,’ for Grade 12 students applying to universities in the United States. Your applications are due within the next couple of months, which means you are headed into the final stretch. Even though you have probably become tired of your essay draft and the ACT Science section, now is the time to dig in. Finishing strong will separate the good applications from the great.
So, how are you going to do that? Turn up Eye of the Tiger and read these nine tips. EducationUSA will pump you up to finish the last leg of your college application marathon!
9. Remind your recommender to write your Letter of Recommendation
Teachers, coaches – all adults really – have a lot going on, and they need gentle reminders to make sure they get your letters in on time. At this point, you can send an email every two weeks until they submit the letters. If your recommenders are not responding to your emails, go visit them in person and ask again if they are feeling good about writing this letter for you. If they seem less than enthusiastic, find another letter writer, pronto.
8. Visit campuses
If you haven’t yet, and you have the financial means to do so, visit campuses. Nothing can better tell you if a school is right for you than meeting fellow students, checking out the quad, and sitting in on a lecture. Athletes, go on official visits. The school that is recruiting you pays for this visit, so by all means see if the school is a good fit.
7. Introduce yourself to admissions officers
Write an email to each admissions office you are applying through. Introduce yourself and ask any additional questions that you have. Find out if there are any admissions officers planning on coming to a city near you, and definitely go meet them there. Face to face interactions are always the best.
6. Update your résumé one last time
Review to make sure that all of your most recent achievements are on your résumé. Have a couple of adults look this over to make sure you did not forget anything major, like that Mathlete MVP award. If you have to submit your résumé as a Word document, make sure it is formatted well. Good formatting makes you look professional, and that goes a long way.
5. Retake the SAT or ACT (as needed)
Hopefully you are happy with your score at this point, but if you are not, there is still time! Most schools will accept scores from the January SAT or the February ACT. Double check this, and do not wait until the last minute. If you are going to retake the test, you need to study. Otherwise you won’t make the improvements you hoped to see.
4. Rewrite your essay, again. And again.
Your essay (or essays) should tie together your application and give the admissions officers a sense of who you are and what you want to accomplish. Your submissions needs to be polished. You should have at least two separate adults review your essay. At least one of those adults should be a champion in English grammar and writing style.
3. Meet with your Guidance Counselor
Your Guidance Counselor is clutch for your U.S. university application. They usually write one of your letters of recommendation, so they need to know you well. Additionally, they help admissions officers understand the grading system and academic standards of your school. They need to be a cheerleader, describing what a great environment you have come from. If your counselor needs any assistance with this, have them contact EducationUSA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Apply for scholarships
Many independent scholarship deadlines are not so conveniently placed during the application deadline season. This is because scholarship organizations need time to review submissions and make their award decisions. They may be able to grant you an award without necessarily knowing which university you will be attend. You need to be searching and applying for these scholarships now.
1. Reach out to EducationUSA
Do you still have questions about what you need to do next? Don’t worry! That is what EducationUSA is here for. We provide free advising for Canadian students applying to U.S. universities. Use our website to guide you and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Linked in for daily updates. Come see us in person at an upcoming fair in your area (see website). Your EducationUSA advisor is standing by ready to help you succeed!
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