1 month before submitting your college applications:
Check your application account(s) to determine whether your recommenders have submitted their recommendation letters for you yet. Also, check whether your high school has sent over your transcript. It should only take a couple of weeks for this to be processed. If the appropriate documents aren’t designated as “received” in your account, follow up with the appropriate people. Email, call, or even visit their offices in person – whatever you have to do. They’re often overwhelmed with requests and need reminders.
Put the finishing touches on your college essay, diversity statement, optional essays, etc. Give them another read and make any changes you think might be appropriate.
When submitting your college applications
Enter all the essays and other parts of the application that you’ve written into each college application. Make sure everything is formatted correctly and that you haven’t mentioned the wrong school in a particular essay or application (it happens).
Triple-check everything before hitting “send.”
Congratulations – you’re finished! Pat yourself on the back.
Don’t forget to thank your recommenders and those who helped with your college essay. A box of chocolates and thank you card go a long way.