Here’s a handy college admissions checklist for parents and students

Applying to college is both an exciting and stressful time for both students and their parents. The experience for Asian Americans seems to be growing even more difficult with ever-rising standards and competitiveness.

Fortunately, we’re here to help you keep things a little more organized with a list of everything you need to be college application ready . Whether you are a student or parent, use this handy checklist to help make the college admission process a little easier.

  • Make a list of colleges – include your reach, match, and safety schools.
  • Obtain college applications – mark all deadlines on a calendar, both early and regular submissions.
  • Obtain and forward your high school transcripts – consider including your mid-senior year grades as well.
  • Take all relevant tests and obtain scores – AP tests, IB exams, SAT/ACT scores (if applicable). Be mindful that some colleges also have their own Admissions Test as part of the application process.
  • Obtain recommendation letters – ask teachers, managers/bosses and mentors. Also, don’t forget to write them thank you letters for the recommendations.
  • Prepare your college essay – draft your compelling narrative, proofread, have at least two other people read it, and continue to tighten up your essay. Keep in mind that some colleges who use Common App allow for separate and shorter “COVID essays” to talk about how the pandemic has affected you.
  • Prepare for interviews – research what kind of interview questions your specific college admissions officers will ask you. You can also further prep for these interviews by scheduling interviews with college alumni. Again, don’t forget to write letters to thank everyone for their time.
  • List out and apply for FAFSA, scholarships and financial aid. Mark all deadlines on your calendar.
  • Complete the college application – make copies of everything you send to each college, pay the admission fees, sign and submit the applications, and always confirm with receipts that your application was successfully submitted.
  • Receive admissions decisions from your colleges – be sure to follow up on your financial aid and scholarship decisions. Be mindful of deadlines to respond to the colleges you get accepted to as well as to accept financial aid.
  • Notify other colleges where you were accepted that you won’t be attending after you’ve made your choice. If you’ve successfully reached this step, congratulations!

The most important note – every school’s application process can be different – check, check again, and check one more time that you’ve covered all your bases. Good luck!

Want to hear from some people who really matter? Check out the McDonald’s APA NEXT Education Summit on YouTube and Facebook (and now translated in Korean)! The summit features celebrity speakers and experts in the APA community talking about college, becoming your own boss, mental health, and more!

Want to learn even more? Explore these resources from McDonald’s, exclusively for the Asian Pacific American community.

This post was made by NextShark in partnership with McDonald’s.

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