Common Application 2012-2013 Statistics

Posted by: Website Administrator on 1/30/2013

Given the popularity of the Common Application, we thought you might be interested in knowing a bit more about what those last hours before the big January 1 deadline are like over at the Common App.

Here are some statistics for this application cycle.

1) In the last 72 hours of 2012, from December 30 through January 1, the Common Application received 922,827 separate submissions of applications, supplements, and school forms, at a rate of 3.6 per second.
  • 347,316 total applications
  • 13.6 form submissions per second in the last ten minutes of January 1.
  • 17.4 form submissions per second in the last minute of January 1.
2) The total volume of Common Applications applicants increased by 10% from last year.

3) The average number of applications submitted per applicant was 4.1.

4) 1,794,400 Secone submitted.dary School Reports were submitted.

5) 3,014,132 Teacher Evaluations were submitted

With most student applications submitted, it’s now time for the colleges to read all those essays and recommendations.  Congratulations on making it through the fall of senior year!

Categories: College Applications

Post Regular Decision Advice

Posted by: Website Administrator on 1/22/2013

You’ve probably submitted the bulk of your Regular Decision applications by now and are just waiting for the spring so you can find out the results. You might also be wondering what you should be doing now that your applications are submitted.

1) Be Patient.  After you’re sure that all of the pieces of your application have been submitted and received, it’s important to follow-up with the admissions office to make sure your application is complete. However, you shouldn’t do this right away. Colleges have received thousands of applications and documents over the past couple of weeks, and it will take a little while before everything is sorted and processed.

2) Follow-Up.  About two weeks after all of your materials have been submitted, check on your applications with each college. By then, they should have been able to process everything that was received. If anything is missing at that time, ask the admissions office for the best way to resubmit missing information. Remember – if your college counselor or teachers need to resubmit any school forms or recommendation letters, be sure to ask them nicely and politely!

3) Request an interview. At some colleges, alumni interviews are only offered to students after they’ve applied. Others still offer on-campus interviews after the application deadline. If you haven’t already had an interview, you can ask the college if it would still be possible to have one. This isn’t going to be an option everywhere, but if you do have the opportunity – great! If not, it won’t hurt your application.

4) Send your SAT Scores (if you haven’t already). In the rush to submit your applications by January 1, you may have forgotten to also send your SAT, SAT Subject Test, and/or ACT scores. Don’t worry, you can still send them. Ask each college if you need to send them via Rush Report, though, or if sending them standard is fine.

5) Did you make a mistake?  If you made a mistake on your application, try to remain calm. If it’s a minor omission, you don’t need to worry about it.  If it’s something you’re really worried about, you can always send your admissions counselor a quick email asking how to best resubmit your corrected essay.  If there’s been a significant mistake, you may want to include an explanation of the error.

6) Relax.  The hard part is over!  You’ve written all the essays, taken all the tests, submitted all the applications. Now all you have to do is stay focused on your schoolwork (colleges still need to see those mid-year and final reports), continue participating in extracurricular activities, and find some time to just have fun!

Until you hear back from colleges, there isn’t a whole lot to do for your applications. You can keep track of your applications, make sure they’re complete, and follow any further instructions from admissions offices. Beyond that, try to stay focused on your academics and activities in the present, and hope for the best come spring!

Beginning the College Search

Posted by: Website Administrator on 1/17/2013

Spring semester of junior year is a great time to begin your college search, if you haven’t done so already. Follow our Expert Admissions advice to help you get started!

1) Do some self reflection. Building the list is one of the most important pieces of the college search process. You want to find colleges that suit your academic, social, and personal needs and interests. In order to do this, you need to take some time to think about what those needs and interests really are. One way to begin is with some list-making, such as your favorite extracurricular activities, favorite subjects in school, top 10 ways you like to spend your free time, and places you would like to live.

2) Get some college guides.  Our favorite guides are descriptive college guides that provide narrative descriptions of each college. These tend to provide a more comprehensive understanding of each college than traditional college guides. Some of our favorites are the Fiske Guide to Colleges and The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges.

3) Make an appointment with your college counselor.  You should make an appointment with your college counselor to begin talking about colleges. Your school might have a survey or intake form for you to fill out that will help narrow down your college options. Your college counselor is also a good sounding board for your initial thoughts and ideas.

4) Look up spring college fairs in your area.  Every spring, national, regional, and local organizations host college fairs throughout the country. Many high schools have spring college fairs, as well. Ask your college counselor about college fairs at your school, or in your school district. You can also check out the Spring NACAC College Fair Schedule and the Colleges that Change Lives Event Schedule for events on a larger scale.

5) Find out if colleges are coming to visit you. Many colleges send admissions counselors travel around the country for spring recruitment. If there are specific colleges you are interested in, you can check on their websites or call them to find out if they’ll be in your area in the spring. If they’re planning to visit your school, be sure to ask your college counselor about the proper procedure to sign up.

6) Think ahead to spring break. We recommend planning to visit colleges during your spring break. You’ll have a full week off, which should allow you to schedule several visits. After doing the work to indentify some colleges you’re interested in, ask your parents and college counselor for some help in planning an itinerary. Then, visit each college’s website or call their offices to ask about possible visit options for juniors and how to sign up.  

Remember – at this point you are just gathering information, not finalizing your college list. It’s important to be open-minded, and willing to consider places you haven’t heard of. By starting to think about colleges now, doing some preliminary research, and visiting some schools, you’ll be in good shape to narrow down your list in earnest by the time summer comes around.

Deferred Application Advice

Posted by: Website Administrator on 1/14/2013

You may have recently received a defer decision from one of your early application colleges, and you might be wondering what that means, and what you can do about it. This blog post should clear up a few things, and help you plan for the future.

What does it mean that my application was deferred? If your application was deferred it means that the college didn’t deny your application, but that for any number of reasons, they were not prepared to give you a final decision in December. The college will re-review your application, and send you a final decision in the spring, along with the rest of the Regular Decision applicant pool.

So what should I do next? The first thing you should do is send a friendly and polite email to your area admissions counselor telling him or her that you’re still very interested in the school, and would like to know if there’s anything that would be helpful for you to send them. Sometimes, they might have a very specific request, so it’s important to ask. For example, they might just want to see how your fall semester grades turned out. They might also have specific advice about what you should and shouldn’t do to increase your chances of admission. If there’s nothing specific that they need from you, here are a couple of things you may want to consider to strengthen your application.

  • Send a short, sincere, and specific letter or email of interest to your area admissions counselor.
  • Ask the admissions office if you can sign up for an interview (if you haven’t already had one). Some colleges don’t allow deferred applicants to interview, so don’t be discouraged if this option is not available to you.
  • Ask the admissions office if they think paying them a visit would be a good idea (if you haven’t already visited). Some schools care about demonstrated interest, and a visit could be something they care about.

If you feel the need to do anything beyond these suggestions, we recommend holding off, or asking the college if it would be okay. You want them to know that you’re still interested, but you don’t want to do too much. A few well-written lines can have more impact than an overload of information. Remember – there’s no guarantee you’ll be admitted, even if you follow the admissions office’s instructions to the letter, so you can be optimistic, but it’s best not to focus on it too much.

Then, you should look forward to the admissions decisions you’ll be getting in the spring from all of the colleges you applied to.  

Missed College Application Deadlines?

Posted by: Website Administrator on 1/9/2013

If, for some reason, you’ve missed a college application deadline and still really want to apply, you might still be able to.

Applicants miss deadlines for many reasons. Unforeseen circumstances come up.  Maybe you had a family emergency, or there was a natural disaster in your area. Or maybe you just found out about a really great college too late. Even if it’s after the official Regular Decision deadline, some colleges will still accept your application. If you have a legitimate reason for missing an application deadline, and still want to apply, here’s some advice for you.

Call the admissions office and ask if they’re still accepting applications. If they are, that’s great! Ask by when you would need to submit your application to be considered, and how you should submit it, including your transcripts, school report, and recommendation letters. And you should ask if you need to rush report your standardized test scores.

If you can still add the college and submit it through the Common Application, and your teachers and college counselor already uploaded your recommendation letters and transcript to the Common Application for other colleges, you should be all set on that front, and shouldn’t need to notify your college counselor.

But at many colleges, you won’t be able to submit a late application online, so you’ll have to print it out and fax or mail it – and this is if they’re willing to accept a late application at all. You’ll also need to give your guidance counselor and teachers very clear instructions from the admissions office as to how they should submit their documents. Some colleges have a separate fax number or email address, for instance, for late recommendation letters, or there might be a specific person in the office they should be sent to.

For the most part, college application deadlines are final. But we all know that things come up and life can get in the way sometimes. If you think you missed a deadline for a good reason, it’s okay to ask the admissions office if you can still apply. You just might get another chance.