What to Do After College Applications are Submitted

By Ryan Hickey + updated on January 18th, 2013

Ahhh, Friday. Nothing like the end of a long week to put a little bit of extra spring in your step. And if you’re an applicant who has finally finished putting together and submitting your applications, this Friday could be particularly relaxing.

For the vast majority of college applicants, mid-January marks the point at which you’ve finished all of your applications. Whether you applied early and have been done for months or caught one of the many January 15 deadlines earlier this week, hopefully you’re now at a point where you can stop obsessing over test scores, transcripts, essays, recommendations, and other application necessities. If you successfully submitted an application this cycle, whether one or twenty, here’s something from all of us here at EssayEdge:

Congratulations!!!

While this particular outlet doesn’t allow me to add much more emotion to the above exclamation (short of adding more exclamation points, but I consider three an absolute maximum), please accept our heartfelt best wishes. Everyone here, from editors to customer support, means it.

With applications done, I often get asked whether there is anything else hopeful students should do at this time of year. The simple answer is yes – see below for three suggestions on steps you should take when your applications are complete.

1. Say “Thank you!”

No matter how hard you worked to pull applications together, you inevitably had help from others during the process. Make sure that you take some time to say thanks to everyone who helped you along the way. Particularly important are those who wrote recommendations on your behalf. You may also want to reach out to those who helped you with essays, standardized test preparation, or general support. Finally, it’s always worth saying thanks to your parents – even if you think they did nothing but nag and worry throughout the entire application process, they’re still immensely deserving of some gratitude.

2. Don’t completely check out.

Applications are done, but that doesn’t mean you should start coasting right now. There are still many good reasons to stay focused and avoid the infamous “senior slump.” Here are just a few:

- AP exams. If you’re taking any AP courses, giving them your all and ultimately earning a 4 or 5 on AP exams can earn you college credit or allow you to skip entry-level coursework.

- Financial aid. Merit-based financial aid will definitely consider your academic performance as a whole, including this semester.

- Waitlisting. Don’t forget that there’s a chance you won’t be accepted or rejected when admissions decisions are made, but rather waitlisted. If that happens, you won’t want to give the school any reason to second guess your credentials.

3. Relax!

This one’s simple. At this point, the process is out of your hands. Don’t obsess over things, worrying that you could’ve improved on something or made a mistake somewhere else. Your application is in, you did your best, and that’s all that the admissions committee can ask for. Admissions officers are the ones who will now be staying up late agonizing over applications. It’s your turn to put your feet up, catch up on sleep, and remember what high school life is like without an application hanging over your head!

 

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Ryan Hickey

Ryan Hickey is Managing Editor of Peterson's & EssayEdge and an expert in many aspects of college, graduate, and professional admissions. A graduate of Yale University, Ryan has worked in various admissions capacities for nearly a decade, including writing test-prep material for the SAT, AP exams, and TOEFL, editing essays and personal statements, and consulting directly with applicants. He enjoys sharing his knowledge to aid others in achieving their educational goals and, when he gets a break, loves hiking and fly fishing with his wife and two border-collie mixes.

One Response to “What to Do After College Applications are Submitted”

  1. Nice and informative post! Really appreciate the efforts you have put in to research these facts. Probably will help out a lot of readers! Cheers!

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