News websites and college publications are rife with tips and tricks to reduce college admissions stress. In case you didn’t get the word, the ApplyTexas application came online today and can be submitted as soon as all the blanks are filled and essays written. If this newsletter or one of the aforementioned articles is news to you, too late to avoid the stress…
Stress will seize you and your rising senior if you have just now heard the starting pistol to begin the college application race. Rising seniors that were my clients as juniors have been writing essays since February. Inexplicably, many of them have not had enough time to complete three essays of only 650 words. It’s amazing how it can take almost six months to write one essay and the last week of July they can write two in two days.
Now don’t take the last sentence in the first paragraph too seriously. It is never too late to fill out an application as long as you can submit it before the deadline. But, it can be too late to submit a great application or get accepted to many competitive schools even if the application is submitted before the deadline.
Consider why it has taken some of my clients over six months to write their essays. I work with some of the highest achieving students in the greater Houston area. It’s not because they are lazy, at least most of them are not. It’s also not a symptom of being bad writers. It’s because they have the luxury of time to complete the task. Sometime we will exchange as many as six drafts on an essay that was pretty solid to begin with. Each draft nudging the student toward delivery of an outstanding description of themselves that is entertaining to read.
That same luxury of time pervades every item in the application file from standardized exams to letters of recommendation. There have also been countless conversations about career choices, where to find financial aid and research on the top college choices. So even though it may never be too late to submit an application. It can be too late to do it right. Plan accordingly.