College Applications Q&A

Early application deadlines are just around the corner. As many students finalize their essays and review their application, I would like to answer some of the most common questions I receive around this time of year.

Question: Can I wait to apply for the rest of my schools until I get my early action or early decision results?

Answer: Well, you could. However, in most cases, you won’t receive notification until early to mid-December and given that most deadlines are between December 1st and January 1st, you might eliminate a lot of opportunity for yourself if you wait. Also, it might give you more stress than you need, since you would need to finish your applications within a much shorter timeframe. I highly recommend students review the deadlines of the other schools they are applying to and try to finish their applications sooner rather than later for this very reason.

Question: How important is a resume?

Answer: Depending on the school you are applying for, they may allow you to upload an optional resume. A resume gives you the opportunity to list all your awards, activities and description in one document. Even some schools that accept the Common Application, which provides you with the opportunity to list up to ten activities offer you the ability to include a resume. It makes sense to include a resume if you have more than ten activities throughout your high school career and/or if you would like to elaborate on them more than the Common Application field allows you to.

Question: How strict is the word limit?

Answer: The admissions committee has many applications to review, including yours. There is a limit for a reason and many schools expect you to keep your essay within the parameters they have provided. You should keep your essay to the limit. If you essay is over the limit on your first draft, take some to to either review and edit it to be more concise yourself or with a parent or teacher’s help.

Question: If I am accepted into a school early decision, but change my mind later, can I back out?

Answer: You sign a legal agreement that says you will attend the school should you be accepted. If you are interested in applying early decision to a school, then you should have researched the school thoroughly before making that decision, including figuring out the financial situation. If there is a school you want to attend, but don’t know if you can afford, take 30 minutes and run the Expected Family Contribution calculator that is available on the school’s financial aid website. If you should decide to back out, then you do so with the consequence that you may not be eligible to attend any other school you applied for, so please take this option seriously.

Hope these help and feel free to contact me at with any questions that you would like answered. Wishing you all the best as you apply for college these next few months!

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