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Applying to College

August 08, 2017
By Ken Delorge

ACS Guide Posts

Topic: Applying to College

“Commit your works to the Lord, and let your plans be established.” Proverbs 16:3

There is a tendency for seniors to begin to panic as the senior year begins and the anxiety about the college application process begins to build. It is important to get organized and to systematically move through the process.

Remember what John Wooden said: “Failing to plan, is planning to fail!”

  1. Students should first have a refined and narrowed list of colleges for which applications will be completed. Most students will apply to three to six colleges.


  1. Students should develop a calendar of deadlines to be met for each application. Deadlines for scholarship applications should be included in this calendar.


  1. All college applications should be completed and submitted by mid-October or earlier if colleges have earlier deadlines. Many college admissions officials begin reading applications around that time. It is wise to try to be read while readers are fresh and excited about the process. Students who wait until the last minute before an application deadline risk having their applications become part of a huge pile, which tends to receive less enthusiasm from a tired reader!


  1. All requirements of the application process should be completed. That includes sub-mission of paper work, sending test scores, scheduling any required interviews, taking required placement tests and any other items required by the college you are applying to.


  1. Students should respond to all emails or phone messages from college representatives even if they appear to be “optional” contacts. Colleges track level of interest. For example, students who apply to highly selective universities sometimes receive an invitation to an optional alumni interview. It is very important to take advantage of this. Check your messages and respond to all contacts! CHECK YOUR SPAM FOLDERS AS WELL! You need to be responsible and be involved in this process- it is not solely your parent’s responsibility to do all this work!


  1. Most applications are completed online. Students may complete applications on each college’s website or on sites such as (this is for most colleges in North Carolina), or for the Common Application.


  1. Essays for college applications should be written thoughtfully and carefully. It is a good practice to write essays well before the applications are ready to be submitted and print them out for someone else to look at (preferably an English teacher and/or a parent). It is important to answer the prompt in each essay and to make the essay as interesting as possible. Remember that the readers are reading many essays, it is important to capture their attention and interest. Essays must be written by the students and not by parents or other “helpers.” The responses need to be your own. Also, never submit an essay with spelling and/ or grammatical errors!! UGH-really. This is pretty much inexcusable if you really want to be admitted to that college or university.


  1. Once applications have been submitted, any confirmation pages, school forms, transcript request forms, etc. should be taken to MrD’s office to be completed and submitted with Alamance transcripts. If recommendation forms are required, these should be given to the appropriate recommenders at least two weeks in advance of the date that you will need them with instructions to return them to Guidance when they are completed so that they can be included in your application package. Be sure to turn in everything to Guidance at least one week before the postmark deadline.


  1. Stay on track academically, behaviorally, and spiritually. Do not indulge the “senior slump” temptation. Finish Strong! All offers of admission are “conditional based on the successful completion of the senior year.” Offers are sometimes withdrawn if academic performance slides. Make good decisions where behavior is concerned. Senior year disciplinary actions must be reported to colleges and become problematic. Remember: “Life is choices, choices have consequence, therefore choose wisely.”


  1. Finally, commit your college search to God through prayer, and seek His direction for your college choice- He already knows where you are going. Allow God, whose way is perfect, to lead you along this way and path of your life.