How Parents Can Track Important Admissions Information
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Ronni Shaw in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info
When it comes to college applications, it can be easy to be overwhelmed by all the deadlines. One of the most important things that families can do during this time is to be intentional about how they track and remember important information. This will help both you and your student feel more organized throughout the application process.
Where to Keep Track of College Information
For both you and your student to feel happy and have a successful college application process, you’ll want to track and store important information, like deadlines, testing requirements, and college details. Everything should be kept in a centralized location that is easily accessible in your daily life. You will want to set this up with your student, as they are the ones applying to college, so they should be knowledgeable of all the deadlines.
There are many different ways that you can do this. You and your student can set up a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or Numbers. Google Sheets is highly recommended by many college counselors because all your information and essays can be stored in one location.
Multiple different people can also edit and access Google Sheets at the same time, which is helpful. You don’t want your student to constantly be making new Excel documents whenever they have to make an edit, as this can be confusing. You and your student don’t want to be in a situation where you’re all in a meeting together or with a counselor, and everyone has a different Excel sheet with different information. The college process is hard enough, so you want everyone to have the same information at all times to avoid unnecessary stress.
No matter the platform that you choose to store your information, the most important thing is to have the details available to both the student and yourself. This will save a great deal of back and forth whenever someone has a specific question.
It’s never too late to create a place to store your student’s information. Having a handwritten list or printed document is great in terms of having it be accessible, but it’s much harder to make adjustments or edits. Using some sort of online storage system can help with that.
Converting your handwritten notes to an online system is easy, whether you are in the beginning or middle of application season. When you first start transferring your student’s information, don’t try to do everything all at once. Have your student start by organizing their top choices into a spreadsheet with all the deadlines and requirements. After they’ve entered their top schools, they should move on to organizing the second-tier schools. This will help your student not feel so overwhelmed by the process.
Make Sure to Start Early
You want to help your student store their information at the start of their college application process. If they make staying organized a habit early on in their applications, they are more likely to keep their spreadsheet updated throughout the next couple of months, which will help you both stay on top of things. This will also avoid having to do a larger transfer of information halfway through the season, when your student is already stressed and overwhelmed with everything that’s happening.