US University Admission – FALL 2012 Issue

Welcome back to school. I hope that everyone enjoyed their summer break and is powered up for a good academic year.

Below is a time-line for grads in order to have their applications ready to submit for early deadlines of Nov. 1 or Nov. 15. Even if you are not going to apply early decision or early action, it is a good idea to work towards that deadline, especially since many of the larger state schools have priority deadlines which you do not want to miss! For the University of California system schools (UCLA, UC Berkeley, etc.) the deadline is Nov. 30.


The time is now…get organized and finalize your plans.


  • Last call for standardized testing. The fall is the last testing date that will get in for early applications, so whether you want to improve your scores one more time or you need some additional Subject Tests, it is a good idea to register asap. If the testing centers are full, you have the option of going across the border.
  • Do not schedule any holiday trips in December, unless you are 110% sure that you will be done with applications and will be able to relax and go on holiday before the January 1 application deadline.
  • Register for the Common Application. Set up an account and download the list of schools to which you will be applying. See me for help, particularly in organizing the list of extracurricular activities, academic awards, and for the writing portion.



  • Write, rewrite, and finalize your main 500-word essay.
  • Visit schools. The Canadian Thanksgiving is a opportunity to visit college. If possible, schedule an interview.
  • Finish your College List. Identify your final list of universities and decide if you want to apply somewhere early decision, which is binding or early action, which is non-binding, if available. Prioritize your applications by interest and difficulty of the application.
  • If you are not applying early decision, your goal is to have two to three “reach” schools, which may be challenging to gain admission to, three or four ”target” schools you think you might possibly be accepted in, three or four universities you are “likely” to get in, which will be your “safety” schools.
  • Register for National Portfolio Day if you are submitting an art portfolio. This offers you an opportunity to have your portfolio reviewed by numerous art schools at the same time and get feedback to improve your portfolio before a final submission. National Portfolio Day Link
  • Ask your teachers to write you a letter of recommendation at the beginning of the school year, before they get too busy. Enter their email information into the commonapp so they have access to the required forms.
  • Schedule an interview, if appropriate, for your schools. Other schools will contact you as soon as they begin processing your submitted application.
  • Schedule an audition, if applicable. The deadline for this varies by school.
  • Fill out your CSS Profile, if you’re applying for financial aid. You may submit the CSS profile as early as September with an estimated income tax form.



  • Register for State School Applications. Many state schools, including the University of California system schools, do not participate in the common application, so you will need to set up a separate account for each school. Do not despair, though, because you can often reuse the same personal statement that you write for the common application schools.
  • Download Supplements to the Common Application. In addition to the main essay and short answer questions, many colleges require supplemental essays or forms. Colleges make their supplement to the common application available at different times, so keep checking over the next few weeks.
  • Take Last-Minute SAT Subject Tests or SAT/ACT Tests. Yes, if you take the October SAT or ACT, it will count toward an early decision application. The ACT also offers a test in September.
  • Finish Applications for Early Decision or Early Action. This is the time to get all your supplements complete, including not only essays, but also DVDs of performing arts talent or an art portfolio.
  • Visit Colleges. It is not too late to visit colleges if you are still undecided. A AAA Travel Planner may be handy here – locations and colleges can be searched for.
  • Attend College Rep. Visits. Meet admission reps from universities that interest you during their visits to your school or at college nights set up locally at one central location. The Ivy Plus event will take place at St. George’s School in mid-September.
  • Request Transcripts. Allow at least four weeks before your application is due. Check with your high school for the specific requirements.
  • Send official SAT and ACT Scores: Request that your scores be sent off to colleges at least four weeks before your application is due to avoid a late fee for rushed scores.
  • Mark your calendar with important dates and deadlines including SAT/ACT testing, application submission deadlines, interview request dates and any other important dates.



  • Complete any University of California Applications. The UC applications open on October 1 and the deadline to submit them is November 30. Reuse essays you have written for the commonapp and supplements, where possible.
  • Retake standardized tests if your feel you can improve your test scores for the regular round.
  • Meet admission reps from universities that interest you during their visits to your school or at college nights set up locally at one central location.
  • Your school counselor and your parents must sign off on all online ED forms if you are applying Early Decision or Early Decision II to any college or university, Don’t leave this for the Christmas holidays when school is out and the counselor is on holiday!
  • Finish Applications for Regular Decision along with all supplements.
  • Submit all applications by their Dec. 31 or January 1 deadline. Please note that the Stanford midnight deadline is 3am E.S.T. and the Princeton midnight deadline will be 9 p.m. P.S.T.
  • Don’t leave your applications to submit at the last minute. Make your payment in advance, choose your recommenders for each school early on and submit the application at least a day or two ahead of time to avoid last minute glitches in the system.
  • If deferred or rejected in the early round, move on to Plan B! Don’t allow one small set-back to deter you from 4 wonderful at your second choice college or university. Get on with the task at hand and come in to discuss your deferral with us in January.


Application Follow-up : Common Application schools

You should see a chart like this when you click on your universities, showing you that you have completed all the required pieces. If everything is not green or marked as complete, you have not completed your application. Non-commonapp colleges will have their own unique, but similar, systems.

Application Downloaded: 1/14/2013
Supplements Complete: 11/19/2012
Payments Complete: 11/19/2012
School Forms Assigned: 10/03/2012



 Keep up your marks & excel in your academics

 Participate in activities and take on leadership roles

 Keep track of your activities and awards

 Explore careers whenever you have the opportunity

 Work on your writing and study skills

 Work on expanding your vocabulary; read, read, read!

 Take SAT/ACT classes and plan for subject tests

 Practice standardized test strategies on your own

 Plan ahead for next summer

 Meet admission reps from universities that interest you when they’re in town



Wednesday Oct. 17 or Saturday October 20 – PSAT test. If you’re in grade 10 or 11, arrange to take the test. Find out on which of the two dates the test is offered at your school.

October 15 – UK Medical & Dental application deadline

October 15 – University of Cambridge & Oxford application deadline, UK

November 1 or November 15 – Early Decision or Early Action deadlines for most universities

October 1 – November 30 – University of California System applications are open for submission (includes UCLA, UC Berkeley and others)