Tips for Filling Out College Applications

This article, entitled "Ways to Help Your Teen be a Safe Driver," comes from Cathy at bountifulplate.

If you have a senior in high school and they are interested in attending college, then chances are you are in the midst of filling out applications. Even if your teen has just started their freshman year of high school, it’s not too early to be thinking ahead. Below are some tips for filling out those college applications:

  • Organization – Beginning in ninth grade, start a notebook or file folder and keep ANYTHING college related in it. Also, have your freshman write a “resume” and keep adding to it every year (either handwritten or typed). Keep a running list of all extracurricular, volunteer and community service activities. Being organized will help tremendously when it comes time to fill out the applications.

  • Time - Don’t rush through the applications. Take the time to look at every single section and make sure it is properly filled out.

  • Proofread – You don’t want to send in an application with typographical, incomplete or incorrect answers.

  • The Essay – Many colleges require one or more essays. You can help “brainstorm” ideas for the subject matter, but your high school senior is the one who should write it. As tempting as it is, don’t write it for them!

  • Last Minute – A bit of advice – DON’T wait until a few days before the application is due to start working on it. Some colleges require written recommendations from teachers or other supplemental materials. Getting started earlier is much better than later.

  • ACT/SAT Scores and Transcripts – Don’t assume your child’s high school counselor will send them to the colleges. Find out if you are able to send the scores or transcripts yourself. If not, then follow up with the counselor at the high school, if necessary.

  • Deadlines – Keep a close eye on when the applications are due. Some colleges have “rolling” admissions and others have strict deadlines.

  • Supportive – Realize your teen is under extra pressure and maybe a bit more stressed when filling out applications. Be very supportive through the entire process. Applying to colleges is on top of their regular schoolwork and extracurricular activities, community service, volunteering or part-time jobs.

  • Scholarships – Some colleges will offer scholarship money when your child is accepted, but don’t 100% rely on that. Do tons of research and always keep your ears and eyes open for potential scholarship money.

  • Financial Aid – There is aid out there if you need it. Pay close attention to deadlines.

To read more from Cathy, visit

About the Author...
Cathy B
Cathy is a homemaker, wife and mother to a son with special needs, an adult daughter and stepmom to an adult son.
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