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What To Do After Submitting A College Application

Stephen Friedfeld, PhD

What to do after submitting a college application

By Stephen Friedfeld, PhD


The moment has finally arrived when you’ve hit the “submit” button on your first application – congratulations! While you’re likely feeling a combination of anxiety, excitement, and relief, your work is far from over. Be sure to follow these steps to ensure that you remain on-track through the rest of the application cycle.

Check your email: Approximately 24-48 hours after you submit your application, the college or university will send you an email with instructions on how to set up your applicant status page. It is extremely important that you do this as soon as possible — this portal will be the place for you to check whether all required materials have been received and ultimately will likely be where you view your admissions decision.

Follow-up with your high school: Be sure to let your high school counselor know that your application has been submitted, and ensure that you have taken all of the necessary steps to have your transcript(s) and letters of recommendation sent. Don’t worry if these materials arrive to the admissions office a bit later — universities understand that high school counselors and teachers are very busy this time of year!

Keep the admissions office up to date: If there have been any changes to your application since you submitted it, such as new test scores, extracurricular activities, changes in your schedule, or recent awards, be sure to email the admissions office and let them know. If you can, try to consolidate your updates into a single email so that the admissions officers have all of the information in one place.

Don’t slow down: While it can be tempting to take a break from working on your applications, now is not the time to slow down. Regular Decision deadlines are quickly approaching, and you’re going to find it hard to focus as you approach the holiday season. Just think of how relaxed you’ll feel once all of the work is done.

Be patient: You spent a lot of time on your application, and you want the admissions office to do the same. The waiting game is hard, but it’s important to be patient and stay focused on your school work. Calling/emailing the admissions office constantly for updates will not speed up the process, but make sure to check your email for when decision day finally arrives!

Before you know it, all of your applications will be completed and you’ll be deciding which college or university you’re going to attend.




Stephen Friedfeld is the co-founder and COO of AcceptU. He received a BA from Cornell University, an MA from Columbia University Teachers College, and a Ph.D. from Rice University. Prior to founding AcceptU, Stephen was an Assistant Dean of admissions at Cornell for four years and an Associate Dean of graduate admissions at Princeton University for six years. Stephen is an IECA Associate Member.

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