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β€’ 08/14/2020 at 04:37PM[edited]

Timeline for college applications
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Does anyone have a suggested timeline of when to get stuff done for college applications? I will be applying to about 4 schools during the early period and 10 during the regular period, and almost all of them require supplement essays. I recently started filling out the common app but haven't started any essays. Am I behind? When should I complete my common app, common app essay, and essays for early decision/action schools so I don't fall behind?

college
applications
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2 answers

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β€’ 08/17/2020 at 02:19PM

@ayap posted a great article which I recommend you check out since I was going to post that article as well! You're definitely not behind since it sounds like you've finalized your school list which we recommend being done around mid-August. If you're worried about falling behind I would recommend you start brainstorming some essay ideas now so you can get writing end of this month or in early September. Come up with topics for both your common app essay and any supplements you will need to write.

I'd also set reasonable deadlines for when you are hoping to get things done but make sure to break them down into smaller more manageable chunks. Let's say your goal is being done with your common app essay by the end of September. There's A LOT that needs to go into making that happen. So while it might only be one item on your to-do list it's not actually that simple. Instead, when you break it down into smaller chunks it helps visualize what needs to be done to make your essay "complete" and makes what it easier to get things done. Sitting down to come up with a topic sentence or to write only your intro paragraph is less daunting than sitting down to write a whole essay and it feels good to make good progress daily/weekly without feeling like you're investing a ton of time. Make sure to leave in plenty of time for editing and revisions of your essays too. If you think you're going to procrastinate you could also set the deadlines a few weeks before they're really due. Hope this helps and let me know if you have any questions!

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Accepted Answer
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β€’ 08/14/2020 at 06:43PM

There's a College Vine schedule thing available. Although it is geared a bit differently, it should still give you the general dates for when you need to get things done. I have a problem with looking ahead as well, and what I would recommend is to write out all the dates on a calendar and estimate how long it will take for you to complete the necessary essays, etc for each deadline (working backwards a bit). I say this but I never do it haha. Good luck! (also, I found a PDF somewhere but I can't find it. here's a link to something similar)

https://blog.collegevine.com/ideal-timeline-for-the-college-application-process/

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