Many of you have probably submitted your early pool applications by now. Congratulations! A lot of time and hard work went into making them shine. But now, you might be wondering if there’s anything left to do after after submitting applications on the Common App. In today’s post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the post-submission stage of the college admissions process. Let’s get started!

Application Portals

After submitting your applications through the Common App, you will receive an email from each school you applied to with a link to set up your “application portal” on their website. Think of the application portal as the place where each school you applied to will keep track of all the elements of your application and let you know if anything is missing.

Here, you can see if they have received your transcripts from your high school, your official SAT/ACT scores, your letters of recommendation, and more. It is critical that you are constantly monitoring each of your application portals as this is where schools will let you know if they are missing a required portion of your application.

Let’s say you go and send your official SAT scores to all the schools you applied to that require them, but there’s some kind of glitch/error. How would you know that a school didn’t actually receive your score? You can only know this by checking your portal. If you do not, and your application is missing a component, schools will not review your application, as they only review applications that are complete.

This would be a devastating consequence of a simple error/mistake. Fortunately, it can be easily avoided by being diligent in checking your application portal.

Standardized Testing Submission

Every university will have a different policy when it comes to standardized testing submission. That’s why it is important you know exactly what the policy is at each school you are applying to. If they require an official score report, make sure that you send the official report, not just a “self-report”, ASAP. Then, you can check your application portal to make sure that they received it.

If a school does not require an official score report until after you have been admitted and choose to attend, then simply make sure that your self-reported scores have been received by the school. Again, if test scores are required and you forget to submit then or by error the school does not receive them, your application will not be reviewed.

Transcripts, School Report, and Counselor Recommendation

Your high school counselor has the responsibility of submitting all of these things for you. Nonetheless, it is your responsibility to make sure that they have submitted them and that the school has received them. You high school counselors are human and can make mistakes. It is entirely possible that they forget to submit one of these items, which would then make your application incomplete. So make sure you are checking your portal constantly to confirm that everything got in properly.

Financial Aid

If you plan on applying for financial aid, make sure that you are well aware of each school’s requirements, as they can be different. Basically every school in the United States will require you to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is a government application that you fill out and then send to each of your schools.

Additionally, some schools may require what is called a CSS profile, which is yet another application on top of the FAFSA that you will have to fill out. Schools may also require scans of your tax returns and/or other financial documents depending on whether or not your are an international student.

The important thing to take away from this section is that you must go on each school’s website (or call the school) to make sure you have all the information about their requirements. Be aware of deadlines for applying. Many schools allow you to apply after the Common App submission deadline, but some may require you to apply for Financial Aid by the same date.

The Rest of Senior Year

The vast majority of our students submit all of their applications, even the ones with a January 1st deadline, by November 1st. But if you still have some regular decision applications pending, be proactive about getting those finished and submitted as early as possible. Don’t wait until the last minute.

Some students wonder if, after they’ve submitted all their applications, they can really take a step back in terms of their academic performance. Some refer to this as “Senioritis.” The answer is, unfortunately, no. If your academic performance in the second half of senior year is significantly worse than it was historically throughout high school, colleges you were admitted to will see your grades and reserve the right to rescind your offer of admission.

Schools will see your final grades, even after they have admitted you to their undergraduate programs. Be sure that your final grades are reflective of the rest of your transcripts, otherwise you might find yourself in a very unfortunate situation.

Lastly, stay out of trouble! If you receive any sort of disciplinary action, it will be reported to the schools you applied to and, again, they may revoke your offer of admission. All in all, if you stay organized and keep being the student you were for all of high school, there should be no problems and you will be well on your way to college!

At American College Counselors, we work one-on-one with our clients to advise them on the optimal application strategy based on their unique academic, extracurricular, and social profile. We hope this information was helpful. If you’re looking for more personalized advise, please reach out to us at [email protected] to schedule a free initial consultation where we can get to know each other a bit more.

Congratulations on submitting early applications and good luck with the rest of the process!

Felipe, American College Counselors