College Applications: Tips for Keeping Track of Your Kids’ School Records
For most moms, dads, and high school students, the college application process can be overwhelming and laden with stress. This doesn’t necessarily need to be the case though – staying organized is one way to mitigate anxiety and ensure that you don’t miss any important documents or deadlines.
What do you need for college applications?
It’s important to plan early, starting in sophomore or junior year, so that you can determine which colleges your child will apply to. Once you have your college list, you’ll know which essays your son or daughter needs to write. Is it just one essay? Or will it be two or more essays? Your child can often use one essay, changed slightly, for multiple colleges – but you’ll need to keep track. You don’t want your child to tell Harvard that Yale is her first choice!
Letters of recommendation
Keep track of who is writing your child’s letters of recommendation. Some colleges require one letter of recommendation, while others require up to three. Sometimes a college will indicate that it did not receive all of your child’s application materials, so you’ll want to trace what is missing. Also, it’s a nice idea to send a small thank you card or gift to the letter-writers.
Your child will use online applications to apply to college so you’ll need a username and password for each application. Keep track of usernames and passwords to access your child’s application and check his or her progress. Many students apply to ten colleges; it would be impossible to remember all your passwords without organization.
Filling out financial aid forms, particularly the FAFSA, is required to be considered for aid. You can start filling out the FAFSA as early as January 1 each year, and it’s best to complete it as early as possible. Have your W-2 tax forms from the previous year, as well as your SSN, driver’s license number, previous year’s federal income tax return and current bank statements to help with the process.
Portfolio of certificates
Your child should not submit copies of certificates and awards to colleges, but instead, you should keep a file of these honors so that you can easily complete the respective application sections. Similarly, if your child has been mentioned several times in, say, the local newspaper for particular achievements, you might want to consider sending colleges a DVD or link to a website that compiles all these articles.
How will you stay organized?
EqualApp is an online admissions counseling program proven to get students admitted to the colleges of their choice. By combining an innovative learning platform with personalized coaching from former admissions and financial aid officers, EqualApp improves applicants' chances of getting into college.
AboutOne.com is an online family management system that provides ONE place to safely store and manage memories and household information, including education, health, possession, contact records and more. The system allows you to capture and organize all the information you need to apply for college, and automatically formats that information in a helpful education summary report.
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