If you’re planning on applying for an online bachelor’s or online master’s degree program, you know that you usually need to meet a specific college application submission deadline.
College Application Tips
While you can certainly submit your application on the day of the deadline, there’s plenty of reasons why you should avoid procrastination and apply as soon as possible. When it comes to completing your college applications, here’s five reasons why the early bird catches the worm.
1. Applications can take some planning
While the application process has become quicker over the years, there are still many pieces to put together for an application. If you’re applying for a traditional or online bachelor’s degree, for example, you will probably need to ask your high school to send your final transcript and SAT or ACT scores and complete financial aid forms. To apply to a traditional or online master’s degree program, you may need to take the GMAT or GRE, request transcripts from your undergraduate institution, update your resume, ask your professors or colleagues to write letters of recommendation, and write a statement of purpose. Ultimately, whether you’re applying for an undergraduate nursing program or a Master of Business Administration, there’s a lot that will go into your application—and most of it cannot be completed in one night (or even one week).
2. You’ll have time for higher test scores and a better essay
Get a head start on tests like the SAT, ACT, GMAT, or GRE. Many schools accept the best score from multiple attempts and giving yourself a time buffer will ensure you are hitting your goal score. Having time for more attempts will lighten the stress of the test scores and you’ll improve each attempt – practice makes perfect.
Similarly, if you work ahead of your admissions deadline, you’ll have plenty of time to focus on your admissions essay or statement of purpose. You’ll even have time to ask friends, professors, or family members to proofread it for you.
3. You’ll have more time to prepare for your courses
In some cases, you can submit your application as late as four weeks before classes begin; however, this won’t give you much time to prepare for your classes. By applying—and ideally, being accepted—long before classes start, you’ll have more time to select your ideal courses, purchase your textbooks, make sure you have the right technology, organize your workspace, and plan your weekly routine. This will help ensure that once online classes begin, you’re cool, calm, and ready to learn.
4. You can start right-away
There’s a lot that goes into a college application, and today, most of it is done online. If you apply well before the application deadline, you’ll still have time to confirm with the school that all of your information has been received, and similarly, school officials have time to reach out to discuss your application if necessary. If you wait until deadline day, you won’t allow any time to track down missing documents or update your file which will delay your ability to start on time.
5. You’ll stand out
By submitting your college application before other students, you’ll show admissions officials that you’re organized and motivated. You’ll also demonstrate just how much you want to attend their institution, and perhaps even get a leg up on the competition. When it comes to applying to college, any advantage helps!