What to Do after You Apply

Once you apply there are certain steps to take to make sure that everything is order. When the applications are out:

  • Confirm that your application materials are complete at each of the colleges. This includes your high school transcript, recommendations and official SAT or ACT scores
  • Set up any required interviews with the college or the alumni interviewers
  • Submit a first semester grade report form to your high school so that first semester grades can be released to colleges requiring these grades
  • Set up a visit to campuses of interest
  • Send any required portfolios or additional information that might help with an admission decision

Now that your applications are out, don’t forget about your grades. Many colleges will request grades from the first semester. Regardless, students will have to send a final transcript to the college they plan to attend. Being admitted is not a guarantee that the admission decision will stand. Colleges have been known to rescind a decision based on final transcripts. Students are expected to complete high school with a record that is the same or better record than when they were admitted.

Many students use the time between applying and deciding to take college visits. Even if you’ve already visited a college once, you can still gain good insight from another visit. After all, you will be spending lots of time on campus. If you spent your first visit in the classroom, use your second trip to check out student hang-outs or the city around the school.

While you wait to hear from colleges you can still search for scholarships. Don’t forget to complete and file FAFSA.

If you get accepted:
Congratulations! Remember, you have until May 1 to make most college decisions, so take your time weighing all of your options.

If you decide you want to accept an offer, don’t forget to send in all the forms your college will need: AP exam scores, housing deposits.

If you get waitlisted:
It can be frustrating to land on the waitlist after applying to a college, but what happens next?

A waiting list usually contains a list of applicants who are qualified for college but didn’t make the final cut. If all of the accepted students decide to enroll for the fall semester, students on the waitlist won’t have a chance to get in. However, if a few spaces become available, the school may give those spots to some of the applicants on the waitlist.

If you’re on the waitlist, there’s not much you can do but wait. You can contact the college to see where you stand on the list, and how often this college has admitted students from the list in the past. Other steps you should take:

  • Send in your waitlist confirmation card
  • Contact the college to let them know they are still on your radar
  • Check on your chances: Find out where you are on the waitlist
  • Update your status: If any grades or test scores have improved, let them know
  • Put your recommendations to work: Have your recommendation writers contact the college and reinforce their faith in you

No one knows how many students from the waitlist will be given a chance to attend, so it all depends on chance. Still, you may not learn more about your status until July. Because your chances of being admitted from the waitlist are slim, you need to make other plans:

  • Review the colleges that accepted your application
  • Come up with a second choice that you are happy with
  • Wait until May 1 to make a final decision
  • If by May 1 you still haven’t heard anything back from the waitlisted college, make a deposit at your second choice to ensure you have a college to attend

Tip: Don’t wait for the acceptance letter to start thinking about paying for school. Cappex can help you find scholarships.