By Lizzie Goddard | October 5, 2023, at 10:00 a.m.

Applications can seem like a daunting task, but it can also be a time of excitement, change, and anticipation for the future IF you plan ahead.

Here are my tips for ensuring your application season goes smoothly.

Build a College List EarlyA Grade 8 student starts her college planning journey early by building her college list to avoid scrambling for colleges that fit her needs right before application deadlines.

At The College Planning Center, we actually recommend planning your college journey as early as 8th grade!

Although things can and will likely change, it is good to create a potential college list as soon as possible.

Most of the time, this list is finalized in your junior year, but you don’t want to be scrambling to find colleges that fit your needs right before application deadlines hit.

Organize Your College Application Materials

Create a checklist of all the documents and information you need for each college application. Your college application checklist may include transcripts, test scores, recommendation letters, and essays.

I recommend that you create a Google Sheet that keeps track of all the dates, and links to essays, and is color-coded so you stay organized!A high school senior is organizing his college applications by creating a checklist, which includes transcripts, test scores, recommendation letters, and college essays, and prioritizing them according to their importance to him and when their deadlines are.

How to Prioritize Your College Applications?

If you have a lengthy list of schools you are applying to, prioritize them according to their importance to you AND when their deadlines are.

It will help you manage your time and resources more efficiently.

Start Your Admission Essay Over the Summer

I know, I know, doing work over the summer isn’t always enjoyable, BUT it is not technically work when you are planning for college, right?

Writing your personal statement over the summer will give you plenty of time to revise, edit, and rework as needed before applications even open up.

A high school senior is managing the stress of college application season well due to the flexibility in his schedule, allowing him to adapt to unforeseen circumstances.How to Manage Stress During College Application Season?

Being prepared for unexpected changes and delays in your plans is the key to staying on track and achieving your goals.

Life can be unpredictable, so having some flexibility in your schedule can help you adapt to unforeseen circumstances.

Asking For Help in College Application

If you are unsure about any part of the college application process or need advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to your high school guidance counselor, teachers, or trusted mentors.

This is not a process you have to go through alone; let us help!

Above all, enjoy the journey. Applying for college should be fun, and planning ahead will allow you to enjoy the experience and have a positive outlook on the future.

Free download of 7 Ways to Stand Out from The College Admissions Crowd for College Planning.