Stop! What NOT to Do After You Apply to College

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No one likes to wait. However, when it comes to college admissions, impatience can actually harm your application.

After submitting your college applications, there is one quick tip that can help you get accepted: Do nothing!

Following months of completing college applications, it can be difficult to sit around and wait for the decision, especially when it may not come for several months. During this down time, it is very tempting to call or email the admissions office to check the status of your application, ask when decisions may be released, or to provide additional information. However, these actions can actually hurt your chances of getting accepted.

This time of year, colleges are swamped with applications, as thousands upon thousands of students click submit. And as you know, for every student, the college must review several essays, letters of recommendation, short-response answers, and various other documents. This can easily amount to over 20 pages of information per student. And if you keep in mind that many colleges receive 20,000 to 40,000 applications each year, the amount of reading becomes mountainous in scope!

Basically, each admissions officer has to read a novel's worth of information each day for nearly four months. And similar to your English class, they must take notes, remember details, and be prepared to summarize important information.

As you can imagine, this does not leave much time for answering emails and phone calls, so when a student or parent calls, it needs to be important.

Many people do not know that most colleges track and record each time a student or parent contacts the college. If a college receives repeated calls or emails regarding the same student, they may begin to question the overall character of the student. For example, they may ask: Does the student lack patience? Can the student work now to attain a future goal? Will this student frequently disrupt professors? How much respect does the student have for others?

As colleges seek collaborative and positive student bodies, these questions may raise a few red flags and overcast the student's application.

Patience is key.

With today's technology, colleges routinely update social media pages, blogs, and their website with information. Many colleges will even text you when your decision is ready. You should always check these sources, first, for information regarding applications.

And if you do not receive an update a few days after the college's posted release date, then it is appropriate to check on your application and see if any errors occurred.

By being patient, you are doing each college a huge favor, and you are allowing them to focus on the intricate details of each application to make the very difficult decisions. While not obvious, your respect and professionalism through the process are sought after qualities that benefit your application.

To avoid other common application mistakes, you can read my previous article on the Huffington Post here.

Chase Staub is affiliated with The Ivy Dean, an independent college admissions counseling firm.

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