You’ve hit “submit!” Now, what’s next?

By Paige Chapman-Layland

After months of research, paperwork, test study sessions, canceled tests, resume creation, and essays (so.many.essays), all in the midst of the pandemic, your student is…DONE.  They’ve pressed submit, and now, the wait begins.  

So, what happens now?

First, a huge congratulations… we know just how much work  goes into the process, and we know it’s a team effort.  This year, more than any other, has required flexibility, patience, and perseverance to deal with all of the changes due to Covid_19.  

After taking a minute to appreciate all that’s been accomplished, it’s time for action.  Here’s a list of items your student should attend to while they wait for the acceptances to roll in.

 Keep those grades up!  

 Colleges expect a strong finish to your four-year high school career.  This semester should be as academically rigorous as the 6 before it.  Turn your attention in these last few weeks of the term to producing quality work, and to studying for exams, especially if your schoolwork wasn’t your top priority during application season. 

Schools have withdrawn Early Action or Early Decision offers to students who fail to keep their grades up.  Don’t let this happen to you!! 

Share thanks

SO many people helped you prepare your applications; be sure to write a note, or express your gratitude to the teachers, counselors, coaches, and parents who helped you along the way.  Pay particular attention to your recommenders–when you thank them, be sure to tell them where you’ve applied, and once you commit, thank them again, and tell them where you’ll be going.

Stay engaged

It’s important to show dedicated interest to the schools where you’ve applied.  Continue to open email promptly, and check your school portals frequently–at least every other day.  Often, there are time-sensitive opportunities offered–don’t miss them because you forgot to check in. 

While campus tours may not be an option, look for other ways to demonstrate your interest.  Take advantage of interview opportunities, and send an email to admissions with questions, or to a particular professor whose research fascinates you.  

About those opportunities I just mentioned…

Once you’ve applied to your school list, there may be scholarships offered at individual schools. The winter months should be full of scholarship applications (and… MORE essays) so that you maximize the amount of merit aid available to you.  In addition to the school-specific scholarships, be sure to explore other options for merit money.  Your school counselor can definitely help with this if you aren’t sure what you should apply for.

Reach out to the school community

While you’re waiting, look for opportunities to engage with students who currently attend, or plan to attend, the schools you’ve applied to. While Facebook may not be your favorite social media hub, it’s a great spot to find groups related to your school and class year.  Maybe you’ll find the roommate of your dreams that way.

In a few weeks, or a few months, all of your acceptances will be in.  Use your wait time wisely, and you’ll be ready for all that comes next.

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