Five Ways You Can Undermine Your Chances After Submitting Your College Application

clock with no time for mistakesMost high school seniors are ready to breathe a big sigh of relief in January. Unfortunately, the college admissions process doesn’t end just because you submitted your applications. In fact, even after completing all the college applications and submitting test scores, there are five things high school seniors can do to ruin their chances of attending college in September.

Don’t submit the FAFSA. The most common excuse for not submitting is the belief that you won’t qualify for financial aid.  However, if you want a Stafford or PLUS loan, you’ll need to have completed a FAFSA. Many schools require the FAFSA before they release scholarship or other merit money-have you checked on this? Then there is the possibility of a sudden change in your financial situation, having already submitted the FAFSA will make it easier to document the change and hopefully adjust your financial aid status.

Let your grades slide. Dropping from an A to B isn’t likely to result in your acceptance being revoke but larger drops in more than one class puts you at risk. According to the National Association for college Admission Counseling, the most common reason for colleges to revoke admissions offers was final grades.

Socially Unacceptable Celebration of Acceptance. In other words, managing to get some sort of disciplinary issue added to your record. Of course, it doesn’t have to have anything to do with excessive celebrations. All it takes is something worthy of coming to your guidance counselor’s attention. And remember, your application actually asks if you have ever been convicted of a crime.

Assume that the college has all of your documents. The college may send you a notice when it receives your application but it may not let you know when it receives letters of recommendations or required material from other sources. Generally, most will  let you know at some point that your application is incomplete.

However, waiting for the college to let you know can put you in a bind in terms of correcting the situation. For example, your teacher went on maternity leave and the recommendations for the honors college are due tomorrow. Keep track of the information yourself.

Wait until you’re accepted to send in housing applications and deposits. It’s not uncommon for large universities to require you to apply for housing long before you hear about your acceptance.  Some require a separate housing application fee or may require a deposit to ensure freshman housing. Don’t wait until you’re accepted to find out about housing.

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