Q:

I am just starting to apply to colleges. Do you have any helpful hints about how I can make this process easier on myself? I have a rather difficult load of classes and would also like to have some fun my senior year. -- For Efficiency

A:

In a recent column, we discussed the Common Application. Having to fill out just one application that will let you apply to many colleges is far easier than completing separate applications, even though you may need to write a few additional essays. Investigate this possibility before obtaining individual college applications.

Hopefully, you now have decided on the colleges where you want to apply. It is wise to have chosen schools that should definitely accept you, will possibly accept you and those that are reaches. This is fairly easy to do by seeing what the grade range and test-score range is of the students that were admitted to these colleges. You can then see where you fit in.

To make the application process easier to handle, you should make a spreadsheet. This will ensure that everything is done on time. It should include the list of schools where you will apply, any needed test dates for ACT, SAT and Subject Tests, application deadlines for admission and dates that references need to be completed.