26 Weeks to College: Week 19

Prepare to Be Contacted by Admissions Officers
November 9, 2020

Once you have submitted your applications, be aware that admissions officers or others related to the college admissions process might actually contact you! You need to be on the lookout for their communications and be prepared to respond appropriately. Here are some good habits that will serve you well throughout the process (and beyond).


WEEK 19 TO-DOS


THIS WEEK

  • Continue finalizing your applications one-by-one. If you’ve been following the 26 Weeks structure, your essays are finished and it is now just a matter of finalizing things for each college. For tips on finalizing, see Week 16’s post.

  • Submit any applications that are due by November 15. For tips on submission, see Week 17’s post.


  • If you do submit any applications this week, alert your recommenders and your school counselor so they submit the necessary supporting materials and order test score reports to be sent if necessary.


  • Continue working on your financial aid forms. You have probably completed the FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE forms by now. So what’s left are the college-specific financial aid applications. Aim to submit these forms within a week of submitting your application to the college. And make sure that you’ve completed everything for colleges where you are applying early by their early deadline.


  • Respond to any invitations for interviews and conduct the interviews. See last week’s post for tips.

  • If you do submit any applications this week, alert your recommenders and your school counselor so that they submit the necessary supporting materials and order test score reports to be sent if necessary.


  • Continue working on your FAFSA, CSS/PROFILE forms, and any other college-specific  financial aid applications, and make sure that you’ve completed everything for the colleges where you are applying early by their early deadline.

THIS WEEK AND EVERY WEEK

  • Check your email, voicemail, texts, and snail mail for any communications that relate to applying to college. Read them and take whatever action is necessary.


  • Update your parents about what you’re doing. This regular communication will work wonders in your relationship with your parents during this stress-filled year. 


TIPS AND TRICKS


1. Double down on checking your email, voicemail, texts, and snail mail for any communications from colleges where you have applied or will be applying. This to-do is on your list every week for a reason. Colleges expect you to read, listen, and respond to what they send you! It's best to respond within 24 hours, so that means checking and responding daily. And really, if you aren’t interested enough to read or listen to a message from the college, why did you apply?


Pro tip: When checking your email, check your spam folders too because stuff often goes there.



2. Answer every call from an unidentified caller. Yes, most of them will be robo-calls or other unimportant sales pitches. But some will be from admissions officers! When you answer, 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.



3. Tweak your voicemail greeting. Or for those of you who’ve never bothered to record one, do it now. Your greeting should be 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."



4. If sending or responding to an email, use complete sentences, capitalize, spell things correctly, and follow standard grammar. An email is a form of written communication and should be as polished and professional as every other written component of your application. It is a good idea to include identifying information in your signature block (full name, date of birth, and high school are the usual bits of information they use to connect your email to your application).



You are two-thirds of the way there!

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.

Spread
the word.