Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable!

This famous quote rings true to many of us throughout our lives. After joining a student organization in college, this quote was emphasized at the beginning of every meeting for us to understand the importance of time. It stuck with me, and I have continued to follow and use it with myself and others. For high school seniors, this quote applies perfectly for submission of college applications. A majority of applications open before high school seniors have been given the locker combinations for their senior year. August 1 tends to be a popular time for colleges to release their updated application for that year’s graduating class. With the release of the application also come deadlines. Whether students are applying Early Action, Early Decision, or Regular Decision, there is a date set by the college for the application and supporting documents to be received. In our line of business, early is on time!

At Academic Futures, we work with high school seniors to establish an application timeline for all applications to make sure they are received well ahead of their intended deadline. You never know what curve ball life can throw you and waiting until the last minute can mean you are too late! You cannot plan for sicknesses, for family events, or for when your Literature teacher will assign the next research paper. You also cannot plan for the college’s application website to go down due to too many users, reported system errors, or failure to accept your form of payment. Applying on the deadline, which is technically on time, can sometimes mean you’re too late. If a college experiences glitches in their system they can be lenient to allow extra time to submit an application‒as we have seen this year with several colleges extending their Early Action and Early Decision deadlines due to Common Application issues. However, the stress of missing this deadline can be too much to handle for students, parents, and counselors!

Having spent time on the opposite side of the desk, I know that a student missing a deadline for admission or scholarship processes do not hold up strong during committee review. The deadlines are posted on the college’s website, printed in materials, and voiced to the students during college fairs and private visits. The last thing an admissions rep wants to hear is “I did not know yesterday was your deadline.” Really?!?! Late is unacceptable.

So, for any high school seniors out there waiting until December 1 to submit their scholarship applications or until January 10 to apply Regular Decision, remember that on time could mean you are late and being late can mean your application is unacceptable. Check your colleges’ websites for all deadlines and set your own deadline a couple of weeks prior to this date. This can ensure that your application is in early and that it is ON TIME!