Submitting The College Application
At this point, except for the waiting, the worst is basically over! However, the way you submit the student's stuff is just about as important as the stuff that's being submitted!
The correct order is: (1) The application is first (2) followed by the essays, which should be attached to the application unless there are specific instructions to the contrary; (3) Next is the resume, which should be stapled together, but not to the application or the essays; (4) The special essay(s) follow and should be paper clipped to the resume as opposed to being stapled to it. Attach a large paper clip to all of the above to ensure everything stays in the proper order, and then send the entire package overnight or 2nd day with a signature guarantee. Whew!
If by any chance you're planning to submit the application electronically, consider this very carefully before you click the submit key. You may accidentally send the application before it's completed, or send it with errors. What will you do then, and how will you get a copy for your records?
I'm a firm believer in Murphy's Law, that if anything can go wrong, it will. No, that's not pessimism, it's realism. The transmission could get garbled, arrive incomplete or disappear from the face of the earth, all without your knowledge. The application could arrive with your name on the "address" line, and all the rest of your information pushed down, out of place, never to be processed!
The following actually happened to one of my students. He applied over the Internet, received an email confirmation and shortly thereafter received a hard copy acknowledging that his application would be processed. No reason to be concerned yet.
The following April, the college sent out its letters of acceptance and rejection. His friends, who had all applied around the same time but not online, received their notices, yet he was still waiting. Just to be on the safe side, he called the admissions office, but alas, it was too late! He was politely informed that there had been an unfortunate computer glitch at the time he applied, and that his application was among several dozen that had been permanently lost!
Needless to say, the family was devastated. How such a thing could happen, how often accidents like this occur, who or what was responsible, and all of the apologies in the world make absolutely no difference whatsoever - you're still up the creek without a paddle! Just learn from this and act accordingly.
Another submission problem that should be mentioned here is, if for any reason you can't make the deadline, the student, not the parent, must call the school in advance of the deadline and give a valid reason why it will be impossible to meet it. They will almost always extend it another two or three weeks. Admissions officers are not totally without compassion. However, I strongly suggest that the student ask for a written or email confirmation and write down the name of the person who granted the extension. As I have said in many of my articles - leave nothing to chance!
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