Five Things To Complete For The November 1st College Deadline

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When frantically completing and rechecking the Common Application or individual school applications for Early Action or Early Decision deadlines, be sure to not overlook these other critical tasks, says Burke College Counseling.

There is an adage in counseling that says, “The thicker the application, the thicker the applicant.” To that end, don’t overdo the number of recommendations sent!

When frantically completing and rechecking the Common Application or individual school applications for Early Action or Early Decision deadlines, be sure to not overlook these other critical tasks, says Burke College Counseling:

1. Make sure recommendations have been sent.

The school counseling office should be able to confirm this. Make sure to send a thank you note or email to any teacher or counselor who sent a recommendation. Saying “thank you” is always a good idea, and another letter may be needed from this person later in the year for scholarships. If a recommender has not yet submitted, send a gentle reminder that the deadline is rapidly approaching.

Follow-up with any recommenders outside of school (coach, advisor, boss, etc.). Some schools accept email; others require recommendations via regular mail. If a recommender is using the mail, be sure to provide stamped, addressed envelopes. Also be sure to check the requirements for each of the schools – some colleges are glad to accept many recommendations, others set a limit. There is an adage in counseling that says, “The thicker the application, the thicker the applicant.” To that end, don’t overdo the number of recommendations sent!

2. Ask about the rest of your school materials (transcript, school report, etc.).

Usually, these are submitted along with the counselor recommendation, but occasionally, they are sent separately. Make sure these materials have been sent to meet the deadline.

3. Look out for hidden supplemental essays.

The Dashboard tab of the Common App has a column that indicates whether or not a school has a Writing Supplement. Sometimes when you start completing the Questions section under the My Colleges tab, you find that you actually DO have to write one (or more). Even if you have not fully completed the rest of your application, you should complete the Questions to avoid any surprises.

4. Have someone else look at the entire application before submitting.

It is very easy to make mistakes, especially on the Activities section when typing a great deal of information into small boxes. Another set of eyes might pick up something you missed.

5. If not sent already, send the test scores from the College Board and/or ACT websites.

Some may have self-reported scores on the application, and scores might even be on the transcript, but virtually every school wants an official report from the testing agency.

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About Jennifer McCue Burke

M.A.L.S., Wesleyan University
B.A., Wesleyan University (English)
University of Pennsylvania

Jennifer began working as a college counselor in 2002 when a group of parents approached her and asked her to design a summer class for students to write their application essays. Since then, she has worked both independently and as a college advisor. She continues to teach, and has been an English teacher for the past twenty-five years. She received the University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Award in 2015, the Stanford University Recognition for Exceptional Teaching in 2010 and the Yale Educator Award for Excellence in Counseling in 2008. Her company, Burke College Counseling, helps high school students navigate the journey to college acceptance by providing expert insight on everything from course selection to scholarship applications. http://www.burkecollegecounseling.com

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Jennifer Burke
Burke College Counseling
since: 08/2015
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