You've compiled your short list, and now you're ready for applying to schools online. But the online application process is full of pitfalls and potential mistakes. Be sure that you understand the process and you'll be well on your way to acceptance at the school of your dreams.
Familiarize Yourself With The Process
Many schools have a complex and often confusing application process. Many schools offer a demo or tutorial of their application system, which lets you practice filling in the forms and saving your work. Even when you start filling out the real application, you're generally allowed to save before submitting. Online applications generally include a checklist available with application deadlines, paper requirements and required application sections to double-check if you have any questions. Requirements often include transcripts from other schools you've attended, recommendations from people familiar with your work and a personal statement of your own. If you're applying to a graduate program or specific major within a school you may have to fill out two applications. Learning what's required well in advance of deadlines will save you the stress of hunting down required paperwork and filling out applications at the last minute.
If you're working with a program that involves filling out online forms, chances are there's a save button. Train yourself to save every five or ten minutes so that you don't lose your precious work. Filling out names, dates and addresses may be simple, but it's time-consuming! Make sure you're using your precious time on things like crafting the perfect admissions essay or gathering your materials instead of repeating your online work.
It may seem intuitive, but make sure you've double and even triple-checked your information before submitting an online application. You'll avoid nerve-wracking delays and make a good impression on admissions officers. This applies to everything from spell- and grammar-checking your personal statement (ask a friend or teacher to help you) and double-checking your address and other information in the online forms.
Allow Enough Time For Applying To Schools Online
Applying to schools online may be easy - but it's no less time-consuming than the old-fashioned paper application route. Make sure to give yourself sufficient time to polish your application and gather necessary materials. You may be tempted to do all your work the night before the midnight deadline, but you owe yourself an application that's complete and error-free. And don't forget - your references need just as much time to write their letters of recommendation as they would if you were filling out a paper application.
Print It Out
Before you submit your application, print out each page for your files. In addition, your application will probably generate a confirmation page with an application number and verification that your application and payment have been received by the school. Be sure to save and print this document for future reference. To save a web page, go to the "File" tab on your web browser and click on "Save Page As..." File the paper document with your other application materials, sit back, and get ready for acceptance to the school of your dreams!