Originally Posted: Apr 29, 2019
Last Updated: Oct 13, 2020
College Decision Day may be coming up on May 1, but with rolling admission policies, it’s possible to apply to college basically any time of year. If you just submitted your college apps, you know the feeling you get once you click “send” is amazing—but the period following can be filled with anxiety and nerves about your admission decisions. Not to worry! There are many things you can do while you wait to keep your mind busy and prepare for the (hopefully good) news.
1. Check your portals
This goes without saying, but after you apply to college, the most important thing to you is whether you got in or not. After you send in your application, most schools send you a confirmation email that contains important information, passwords, and links to admission portals. These online portals not only contain admission decisions, but they also have information about housing, scholarships and financial aid, your major/school of choice, and admission contacts. Make sure to sign into your portal as soon as you receive an application confirmation—and write down your username and password somewhere safe!
2. Contact the admission office
Even though the written part of your college application is finished once you send it out, there are still many things you can do. Do you have any questions concerning the school? Are there any changes to your application? Do you want to send the university your résumé? If there are additions to your application or you have any questions or concerns, you should reach out to your admission counselor. This not only shows initiative but could also provide you important information you need about the status of your application.
3. Work on scholarship applications
I know, I know—you just finished writing supplements and essays galore, and now you need to write more?! However, researching and completing scholarships is an extremely important part of the application process. These scholarships can provide you many opportunities for merit and financial aid for college, study abroad, or research projects. There are hundreds of websites that contain applications for scholarships. And there are so many awards to choose from: some require essays, some are for members of certain organizations or clubs, some are for people who live in certain states. Look up scholarships that interest you and apply! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
4. Visit your colleges
Do you have a college you applied to but couldn’t find the time to visit? Can you not wait to step on the campus of your dream school again? This time before receiving your admission decisions may be perfect to visiting the colleges you applied to. While at the university, let admission counselors know you have applied to their school and ask all the questions you can think of! Try to gain even more knowledge about the college and see for yourself what the student experience is like at the school. The campus visits after applying may make or break your outlook on the school, which can influence the big decision of choosing your college.
5. Focus on you!
I know in my own experience, the college application process can be stressful, tedious, and time-consuming. Doing normal things like reading for fun, spending time with friends, etc. may have been put on hold during this time. After you finish up your applications, a huge weight will be lifted off your shoulders. Spend this time to do activities you love or try things you’ve always wanted to do. Read Game of Thrones until 2:00 am, have sleepovers with your friends, volunteer at an animal shelter—the choices are endless! While all your hard work is paying off, use your free time wisely by doing activities you enjoy and working on other important things for school.
There are a lot of ways you can be productive while waiting on admission decisions. We know the wait may seem agonizing but keeping busy will keep your mind distracted so you don’t stress over it as much. But know that if you put your best foot forward and put the utmost care into completing your applications, you’re sure to get some good news when those college letters show up in the mail.
Still looking for the perfect school to apply to? Check out our College Search tool.