Last Minute Checks Before Submitting the Common App

30 OCT 2020

Are you applying to US colleges through the Common Application? Check out the five most important things you need to do before you hit submit!

Can you believe it's almost NOVEMBER!

If you are applying to US college in 2020-21, the journey is almost over! Some early action and early decision deadlines have already passed and regular round applications are due in January.

You’ve come all this way, and we want to make sure that you finish off your applications strongly. Read on to hear about our 5 last-minute checks we recommend college applicants do before submitting their application!

Check the exact deadline date

Universities have different deadline days for their applications. As an illustration, for the upcoming early-round admissions, many universities are using November 1 as their deadline, but others are using November 2 and November 16th. The point is that you need to make sure you know the exact deadline date for you! Check them personally on the school’s website; don’t rely on friends or hearsay, as they can be wrong.

Also, check the exact time of your deadline. If you are in a different time-zone to your university, you will need to account for any extra or less time you may receive. Naturally, there would be no better feeling than being organized a few days in advance and sending off the application well before the exact deadline. Leaving things until the last minute is often when things go wrong.

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Check again for any mistakes

Even the tiniest of spelling mistakes is not a good look and can distract from all the hard work you've done.

Before uploading components such as your essay and extracurricular list, make sure you check over it a few last times for spelling or grammar mistakes. Don’t completely rely on spellcheck; check each sentence and word individually.

You should also keep in mind that your essay’s sentence structure will inevitably make sense to you, its writer. But remember, it is not you, but an admissions officer who will read and evaluate it in the end. Hence, the essay needs to be tailored to make sense to other readers. It's often a good idea to get a few members of the family to look over your essay one last time, just to make sure they think the essay flows.

Of course, all of our students at Crimson Education have their essays gone through with a fine-tooth comb by their professional admissions essay mentors - all current students or alumni of top schools such as Harvard, Princeton, or Stanford. Find out more about how we can boost your candidacy for admission to a top US or UK university through our holistic admissions support service.

Make sure you have all the pieces together

Next, upload all of the components of the application, including your:

  • High school transcript
  • Standardized test transcripts (SAT or ACT)
  • Common App essay
  • Common App extracurricular profile
  • Supplemental essays (as required by each college)

Some of these things, such as the high school transcript or standardized test transcript may need to be requested from a third party, and you will need to be organized in advance. For aspects such as your extracurricular activity list and common app essay, you will need to transfer what you have written in word or google docs into the common app website text boxes.

The letters of recommendation procedure is one part of the application that is out of the hands of the students after recommenders have been invited through the common app website. However, it might be a good idea to check in on your recommenders and make sure they submit their recommendations on-time.

Also note that during COVID-19, many US colleges have made the standardized test requirement optional for the 2020-21 admissions cycle. You can read more about that here.

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Pay the Application Fee

Don’t forget to pay the application fees.

The average application fee for each US college is around $44 (USNews), however the average fee for most top-ranked colleges is more around $75-$90.

If you are planning to apply for a fee waiver, you will need to get this organized prior to the deadline date. If you took the SAT with a fee waiver, you might get automatic fee waivers for the application with many colleges.

Stay Relaxed, and Submit

If you’re at this stage, 99.9% of the hard work is done.

The essays are written, the exams have been taken, your extracurricular activities have been finalized and the paperwork is done.

All that is left to do is to go ahead and hit that big ol' SUBMIT button.

In the following months, try to take your mind off the application. Don't get too stressed about results day - it's out of your hands now. Just remember deep down that you’ve done the best you can, and that's all that you can do.

We wish all students in the Class of 2025 the best of luck with their applications over the following months.

Crimson Education is the world’s leading university admissions support company helping students navigate the US and UK university application process. We assist you to find your best-fit university, create a personalized roadmap, ace your standardized tests, craft the perfect essay, build candidacy through extracurriculars, and more. Check out our student success page to find more Q&As and case studies about our successful Crimson students.

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