Submitted Your College Applications: What to Do As You Await the Results

Padya Paramita

Submitted Your College Applications: What to Do As You Await the Results

You worked hard over months—perhaps years—as you selected the right schools, filled out the Common App, wrote essay after essay, and even juggled five different commitments at once. By now, every single college application deadline has passed, so if you’re a high school senior, the chances that you’ve submitted your college applications and now anxiously awaiting the results are high. 

It’s not very productive to sit at home and wonder when the results will drop, as most schools don’t release decisions until mid-March or early April. To help you decide how to productively spend your time while you wait for the application decision, we’ve created a list of steps to take. By following these, you can take care of some of the logistical things necessary once you’ve submitted your college applications, while also making sure you maintain a strong academic record in school. 

Continue performing well in school

This is a very important one. Top colleges have been known to rescind students’ applications even after they’ve been accepted due to either poor academic performance or misconduct. As a result, “performing well” in this case includes both keeping up your high grades after you’ve submitted your college application as well as making sure you don’t break any rules in a way that will end up on your permanent record. Senioritis is a very real issue and it’s easy to get caught up in the fact that it’s your last year of high school, so you might slack off a little in class. But if your GPA goes from a 4.0 to a 2.0, colleges will take notice. Just because you’ve sent in your file, doesn’t mean they’ll stop keeping tabs. So make sure you’re staying focused in your classes.

Be careful what you post on social media

Going off of the topic of misconduct, circumstances in today’s landscape have been shaken up due to how much our lives are intertwined with our usage of Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, etc. Remember that your social media presence isn’t personal—even if your account is private, your friends, family, classmates, and others have access to what you post. So, make sure you’re not saying whatever comes to your mind that may be offensive or harmful. We’ve seen numerous instances of screenshots ending up at the hands of admissions officers that have resulted in rejections or rescissions. Well, there’s no need to be offensive in the first place! Still, even if you’re a well-meaning person, anything that can be misread can also be held in a case against you. So, make sure you’re being very careful of what you post and what you say. 

Keep up with your extracurriculars

Having submitted your college applications doesn’t mean you should start neglecting your responsibilities. If you’re a member, and especially a leader, in an extracurricular activity, you should make sure that you’re continuing your involvement. Think about it this way: if you’re a member of a community service organization, and you suddenly stop going or even disband the organization, the community members you help out are suddenly going to be left without support. Or, even if it’s just your art club or creative writing club, you’re missing out on time to practice and hone your craft and receive feedback from others. Just because you no longer have an activities list to fill out, doesn’t mean that you should be any less engaged.

Plan for the summer

One of the most productive ways to spend the time after you’ve submitted your college applications is to look ahead at the months to come. When you’re done with school (and aware of where you’re going to college!) you’re going to have a few months of summer break. Even though you’ll already have an admissions decision, you probably don’t want to spend those months just sitting at home and watching Netflix or taking 12-hour naps to pass the time. Think carefully about what you want to do. You can plan to engage in a self-directed project such as writing a novel or making a documentary film. Or, you may want to participate in online courses, a summer program, or go on a backpacking trip. As you await your results, use this time to do some planning. You’ll have the scope or logistics of your plan figured out and you’ll be thankful for it in June!

Consider the financial side of things

The time after sending in all your application materials can be a good time to decide if you’re prepared to afford four years at a prestigious university. Even though you might have already filled out individual colleges’ financial forms, it’s not too late to file for the FAFSA if you’re a US citizen wanting federal aid. Or, you might want to spend some time looking at scholarships that you can apply for that can help you. Many foundations have scholarships for students who meet specific criteria, such as participation in Girl Scouts, or being from a certain ethnic background. College is definitely an expensive investment, and the extra help can benefit you in the long run!

Check your portal regularly

Finally, don’t forget to check in with your colleges. Instead of having to bother your regional admissions officer 24/7 with your questions, colleges make it very easy for you and assign you an admissions portal that serves as an interface connecting you and them. This portal should give you any updates regarding your application status, including missing materials, interview requests, notification dates, and of course, your admissions result. You don’t have to check it every day, but make sure you log in once a week to check for anything new.

The period after you’ve submitted your college application can be very anxiety-inducing. However, you have school, student organizations, and summer planning to keep you distracted as well as holding you accountable. Make sure you continue working hard—and look into scholarship opportunities if needed, and staying up-to-date with your portal. The time between the wait and the results seems long but trust us, it passes by fast. Wishing you all the best as mid-March approaches—it’ll all turn out okay!

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