Applying to College
The time has come to start applying! Review the tips and information below:
- Show appropriate level of interest and enthusiasm in the school that you are applying to. Emphasize the positive reasons for your application to that school.
- Demonstrate your sincere interest in the schools that track this (some private colleges) by making a campus visit, seeing the rep at Country Day, and emailing the admissions office.
- Write your essays early to allow time for revisions, if necessary. Take time with your essays—good essays can make your application stand out. Show your essay to an English teacher or college counselor who will give you critical, objective feedback.
- Proofread your applications several times before submitting.
- Send supplementary application materials if it helps demonstrate additional talents or skills.
- Keep your college counselor informed of your first-choice college as well as any responses (acceptance, rejection, waitlist) you receive from a college.
- Don’t send too many recommendations from family friends. If someone knows you well and can write an in-depth recommendation and has a special relationship with the college you want to attend, that person is appropriate.
- E-mail the admissions office with any new information during senior year.
- For general information:
The Common Application
Coalition for College
- Ask your teachers in person to write a recommendation letter on your behalf. Ideally ask teachers who taught you junior year.
- Determine how many teacher recommendations are required.
- Most colleges do not require any teacher recommendations.
- Visit the College Counseling Office for Teacher Recommendation Request forms before the end of junior year.
- Teachers submit their letters directly to College Counseling.
- Don’t forget to thank your teachers for writing recommendation letters for you.
Early Decision (ED)
- Early Decision is a binding commitment. If admitted, you are required to attend.
- If you are accepted, you must withdraw all applications to other colleges.
- Your application will be evaluated on the basis of your record through your junior year.
- In order to be ready to apply Early Decision, you must do extensive research and visit college campuses and be absolutely sure of your ED choice.
- Early Decision applications are due by November 1. Some schools have an Early Decision II deadline of January 1.
- At most colleges, Early Decision application increases the chance of being accepted.
- You must be absolutely certain that the ED school is your first choice and you will not regret losing other possible college options.
Early Action (EA)
- Many colleges and universities have Early Action or Early Notification plans.
- EA works the same way as ED, but is not binding—you do not have to commit to attending the EA college if you are accepted—you have until May 1 to decide.
- EA deadlines are November 1.
- Pay careful attention to the college’s Early Action policies—many schools have “Restricted Early Action” programs that do not allow students to apply to any other schools early.
- Many state universities as well as some smaller colleges have rolling admissions plans.
- These schools review applications as they come in, and the earlier in the process, the better—usually in September and October.
- Generally, four to six weeks after your application has been received, you will receive a decision.