How to avoid college application anxiety

So, you've used a college search engine to find the college for you, and submitted your college applications to your dream schools. Now comes perhaps the hardest part of all – waiting to hear back from your prospective universities.

This can often be one of the most anxious times of the entire college application process for many seniors, largely due to the lack of control they have over what happens next. One major worry for many students is whether or not their prospective schools even received their college application. How can you minimize the worry of your application being lost in the mail?

With college applications consisting of so many different documents, often submitted at different times, it can be difficult to keep track of where everything is. One way to ease the process is to submit your documentation online, if your prospective schools accept this kind of application. If you choose to submit your college application electronically, print out hard copies of your paperwork and make a note of the date and time when you submitted them. This can make it easier for college admissions officials at the university to find your application if things go wrong.

If you have to submit a hard copy application, make sure to get proofs of postage from the post office when you mail the documents. You can pay a little extra to have your packages tracked with the United States Postal Service, and insurance is also available for a reasonable fee to ensure additional piece of mind. You may also want to consider sending your documentation through a registered courier service so that you can track the location of your application using a tracking number.

When submitting letters of recommendation, make sure to tell anyone writing your letters if you've applied online, and politely ask them to keep proofs of postage if they plan on sending their letters of recommendation themselves.

If possible, get the name of a college admissions adviser during a campus tour, and ask for their business card or contact information so you have someone to call if you're worried that your college application has gone missing. You should also ask the college admissions advisers at your prospective university what their estimated timeline is for processing college applications is, and how soon after submitting your documents you can contact them to check that your information has been received. Additionally, today many schools allow students to go online and check which parts of their applications have been received by the school. Generally this information is easily viewed with your login information, but if you are unsure of how to access it, college admissions officials can always help.  

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