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Winter To-Do List for College Applications

With January college application deadlines fast approaching, it’s important for students to ensure their application materials are polished and ready.

Christopher Rim, CEO of Command Education and contributor at Forbes, recently put together a helpful to-do list for applicants to enhance their application and increase their chances of admission.


Each college has its own list of required application materials and deadlines for submissions. If you’re applying to multiple colleges, things can get tricky. In addition to verifying submissions deadlines, Rim recommends that applicants confirm that their transcripts, test scores, and recommendation letters are accurate and up to date.

“Staying organized in this regard will ensure that your applications are complete and reach their destinations on time,” Rim says. “If you have not already done so, create a written list of deadlines and requirements for each school on your list and post it in a visible space in your house so that your family members are aware and can support you in completing your applications on time.”


The holiday break provides an ample opportunity to review and refine your essays.

“Ensure your writing is not only clear and concise but also compelling and authentic. Seek feedback from your parents, friends, or older siblings to gain fresh perspectives and make necessary revisions that showcase your unique voice,” Rim says. “Reading your essay aloud to a trusted person can also allow you to evaluate whether your writing flows elegantly and expresses your voice effectively.”

In additional to your personal statement, be sure to dedicate time for reviewing each of your supplemental essays as well. These essays should demonstrate your knowledge about each school and its unique offerings.

“Admissions committees use your secondary essays to augment the story they have assembled about you as a candidate from your Common App essay and your recommendations,” according to Shemmassian Academic Consulting. “They are looking for more details that confirm and expand what they know about you, and which neither contradict nor repeat what they’ve already learned from your personal statement.”


If you have interviews coming up, take some time to familiarize yourself with common questions and start preparing your responses. Rim recommends referencing your application materials to help present the best version of yourself.

“Your supplemental essays are a great source for interview material and identifying the most important overarching themes and aspects of your essays is foundational to presenting your candidacy compellingly in your interview,” Rim says.

Sources: Forbes, Shemmassian Academic Consulting

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