Once you have submitted your applications, be aware that admissions officers or others related to the college admissions process might actually contact you! Here are some good habits that will serve you well throughout the process (and beyond).
1. Answer every call from an unidentified caller. When you do, use your professional-level manners. If you're in a place with a lot of noise in the background, let the call go to voicemail, and then call that person back as soon as you can have a quiet conversation.
2. Tweak your voicemail greeting. Make sure your voicemail greeting is G-rated, courteous, and appropriate for anyone (including admissions officers) to hear.
Not appropriate: "Sup. I'm busy playing Call of Duty. Message me."
Appropriate: "Hi, you've reached Josh. Please leave me a message and I'll call you back."
3. Check your snail-mail, voicemail, and email regularly. And then respond. If you tell people that they can contact you through one of these methods, then you are making an implied commitment that if someone contacts you, you will respond. Promptly. It's best to respond within 24 hours, so that means checking and responding daily.
4. Get your FAFSA and CSS Profile completed and submitted. You can do both of them online. A lot of scholarship money that comes directly from the colleges is doled out on a first-come, first-served basis, so don’t delay. By the way, if your parents are resisting filling out the FAFSA because they did it for older siblings and it was a big pain and they didn't get the financial aid they wanted, let them know that the FAFSA has gotten much easier and that having older siblings in school reduces the EFC (estimated family contribution).
5. Research (if you haven't already) scholarships for which you may be eligible. The College Board has a good basic outline for how to go about doing that. Please heed their warning regarding scholarship finder scams. They are real and every year some families get taken in by them and we hate that.
Anna Ivey is one of the founders of Inline. An experienced admissions consultant and a frequently cited media expert on the topic of college admissions, she is also co-author of the book How to Prepare a Standout College Application. Learn more about Anna's background here.