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The 2019 Early Decision/Early Action Checklist

We are days away from the first round of early deadlines. And if you are like all of my students, you are planning to submit some "early" applications to maximize your options and advantages.

Before those deadlines hit, make sure you have done the following:

Want to apply to multiple colleges in the early round?
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1. Check each college's deadline carefully.

A handful of colleges have October 15th deadlines for their early round, but most of the early deadlines are November 1st. There are also some colleges with priority deadlines for merit scholarship or honors programs consideration as well. 

2. Look at the college's standardized testing policy to determine if self-reported test scores on the student's portion of the application will suffice or if official score reports are required.

READ MORE: How to Report Your Test Scores the Right Way

3. If official score reports are required by a college, send those off right now.

It can take the College Board and ACT days or weeks for processing score reports this time of year!

4. Review your transcript carefully.

Sometimes there are mistakes on course listings and even grades!

5. Make sure you have waived your FERPA rights!

If a student doesn't waive their rights to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the college may not trust the letters of recommendation written on behalf of that student.

6. Do a final review of your main essay before pasting it or uploading it to your application.

A fresh set of eyes can catch typos before submitting the application.

7. Finalize your activities and honors lists to accurately represent yourself!

Colleges may be verifying your activities and achievements as a result of the admissions scandal last school year.

8. Put the finishing touches on your supplemental essays if you are applying to selective colleges.

These supplemental essays can be just as important as your main essay.

READ MORE: How to Answer the Most Common Essay Prompts for College Supplements

9. Review your application like your life depends on it!

It is so easy to click the wrong box on an application. For example, it is very easy to un-click the "years of participation" box when filling out the activities section of the Common App this year.

10. Submit your application several days in advance of the deadline.

If there are any issues submitting it, you can sort it out before the deadline.

I hope these tips help ease your anxiety and get your applications “submission ready.” After four years of hard work, you are almost at the finish line! Once you submit your early applications, all that’s left to do is pat yourself on the back, breathe a well-earned sigh of relief, and let the chips fall where they may.