Q:

My son who will be a senior in high school next year only has a part-time job. Since he has a lot of free time, I have been urging him to start applying to colleges now. He says that he still has plenty of time, as deadlines are quite far away. What can I say to convince him to get busy on his applications? -- Need a Message

A:

There are all sorts of arguments for students to start applying to college early. One that might really get him to working on them is to point out that procrastination is likely to lead to a stress-filled senior year. The time that he has to spend on applications will definitely take time away from studying, participating in activities and hanging out with friends.

If he has a favorite college, he should apply for it early, as many colleges fill up their freshman classes quite quickly. This is especially true of schools that have a rolling admissions policy. Once schools reach their full enrollment number, no more students are admitted.

Thousands of students apply to some colleges. By applying early, students show their high interest in a school. And on the plus side, early applicants are often admitted in higher numbers.

Another reason for applying early is that specialized scholarships in athletics, music, performing arts or high grades and so on are often awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. This gives an advantage to those applying early.

Finally, the earlier students apply, the more likely they are to hear whether they are selected, especially if they apply under an early admissions program. Knowing that he has been admitted to a college can eliminate your son's fears about where he will be going to school next year.

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