learning how to meet deadlines for college admissions and scholarships
Posted : June 30, 2014
Last Updated : May 31, 2016
In the context of college admissions and scholarship deadlines, poor time management skills and procrastination can lead to last minute cram sessions which produce subpar applications that may cost you admission to your top school and/or various scholarship awards. Learning how to properly meet deadlines for college admissions and scholarships will help ensure that you submit superior applications. Use these tips to meet your admissions and scholarship deadlines.
Commit to meeting the deadlines. Because students can be very lax about deadlines, the first step is to commit to meeting them. You will need to make the deadlines a priority in your schedule, and you should realize that the commitment to meet your application deadlines requires early preparation.
Research deadlines. Research the deadline dates for all of your college admissions and scholarship applications. If you will be applying to schools under early action or early decision, the deadlines are usually in October or November. If you will be applying to schools under rolling admissions, try to have your applications submitted by the schools' priority deadlines. The deadlines for scholarship applications will vary throughout the year so research the deadline for each scholarship in which you want to apply.
Organize your deadlines by date. After you have researched and made a list of your deadlines, you should organize them by date so you will know which ones take priority. Use a student planner or a calendar on your smartphone or tablet for easy management of your deadlines.
Break down application tasks into smaller segments. One large task can always be more easily accomplished in smaller pieces over a long period of time. Instead of trying to complete all of the work involved for one application in a couple of days, you should break down the work into smaller segments to complete over the course of a couple of weeks. For instance, if you are applying for an art scholarship that requires an application, a written essay, and a piece of your original artwork, you should give yourself a personal deadline to complete each individual task. Give yourself a couple of days to complete the application, a few days to write and proof the essay, and so forth. Breaking down the tasks into smaller segments will make each application seem less intimidating.
Block off adequate time. When you start working on a segment of an application, be sure to have that work period blocked off on your schedule. If you don't schedule it, you will be more tempted to procrastinate.
Reward yourself. If you lack self-discipline, a simple way to reinforce meeting your personal mini-deadlines is to reward yourself. For example, if you complete a rough draft of an application essay, reward yourself with a night out with your friends or splurge on some well-deserved junk food.
Plan ahead. As a high school student, your schedule is jam-packed, so it’s crucial that you plan ahead in case any potential crises pop up. Be sure to build in a cushion for each of your application deadlines in order to give you a couple of days before the final deadline to polish your application and add any finishing touches.
Be realistic. Be realistic with how many applications you can finish and submit within a given time period. Remember: quality over quantity.
For more information regarding college admissions and scholarship applications, check out the Applying for College and Scholarships & Grants sections of this website.