Do's an Don'ts for Online Applicants
Do’s and Don’ts for Online Applicants!
Do…take the online tour. Before you start your application, walk through each step of the application on a “virtual tour”.
Do…create a user name and password that you’ll remember easily. Record it and keep it in a safe place. If you lose your password, some colleges allow you to create a new one, but if you forget your user name, you may have to start a new application.
Do…disable pop-up blockers in order to view the part of the application that displays in the pop-up windows.
Do…follow directions and complete all steps. On each page be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page and the bottom of each pop-up to avoid missing any information.
Do…use the correct browser. Most online applications function only with Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher or Netscape 5.0 or higher (which you can usually download from the application site itself). The online applications are highly secure; so older browsers are not usually equipped to handle the necessary level of encryption.
Don’t…forget to save your work. You usually have no more than 40 minutes per
Web page before you’ll be timed-out. Whenever you save an entry or move to a new page, your work is usually automatically stored, but if you plan to leave your application for any length of time—to go grab a snack or answer the phone—use the save/logout feature to store your application.
Don’t…compose your personal statement online. Take time to compose it in a word-processing application, such as Microsoft Word, save it as a text file, and then copy and paste it into the appropriate boxes online.
Do…print out copies of your personal statement to cross-check your work with your counselor or a teacher. Do this before you submit the statement.
Do…carefully review the summary page. Look for any instance where it says “no information added,” and if you didn’t intend to leave that area blank, click “modify” to return to the step where you can fill it in.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you have technical difficulties, don’t be afraid to ask the “Help Desk”, “Technical Support”, or use the “Contact” links.
Do…click “Submit Application” when you are finished. Your application will not be sent to the college or university until you do.
Do…print-out your receipt and keep it! You will have a record of your application id number and a complete summary of your application.
Other Hints for Applying Online
Set-up an email folder or account to be used for college correspondence only. If you have multiple email addresses, use only one of them for all of your applications. Make sure your email address is appropriate for professional purposes (i.e. no email@example.com).
Consider using the Common Application (www.commonapp.org) which is accepted by many private, and some public, colleges and universities.
Print-out the full application directions so you can “check-off” tasks as you complete them. Be sure to check if a supplement is required: if the form says
Part I and there is no part II visible, you will usually receive part II after you complete part I and/or pay the fee.
Print-out your completed application, or application summary and proofread it before clicking the “submit” button. Make sure none of your information was cut-off. Save the printed copy for your college files.
Submit your application a week or more before the deadline. Application web sites slow down to a crawl the closer you get to deadlines, and sometimes crash!
Pay the admission fee by credit card if this option is available. Checks can take weeks to reach the school and that may delay the processing of your application.
Look for email confirmation that your application has been received. Print-out and file the application acknowledgement. Call the college’s Office of Admission if you do not receive confirmation within forty-eight hours after submission.
Finally, make sure you have arranged for all supporting documents (transcript,
School Report & teacher recommendations) to be completed by the application deadline. This must be done at least four weeks prior to the application deadline. You must follow the school’s outlined procedures for both transcript requests, counselor and teacher recommendations.