How to Create Effective Timelines for College Applications

Helping your child fill out college applications can be overwhelming, but if you help him/her create a timeline, you’ll both be able to keep track of deadlines and personal goals.

Going through college applications is stressful for both parents and students, mostly because the process is often complicated with unique requirements and multiple deadlines. Managing applications to several colleges at once is a daunting challenge, but working with your child to create a high-level timeline can ease the stress for both of you.

Here’s the tricky part: you can’t step in and do the work for your child. Ultimately, it’s his/her responsibility to determine which colleges to apply to, find out which forms to fill out, and execute everything in a timely manner. You can, however, guide them in finding a management solution that works for them.

One option is to sketch out a list of schools, one by one, along with each of their deadline requirements for each phase of the application process. As your child moves through the process, he/she can cross them off the list and have an overall visual to measure his/her progress. Another option is to fill in one comprehensive calendar with important dates for every school at once, allowing you and your student to see, at a glance, what items are upcoming and which ones have been completed.

A more modern option is to find an online college application management software that can help your child stay organized no matter how many schools he/she applies to, or how complicated their requirements are. BOLD Guidance offers this type of software, free for a limited time, to help students stay on track with their applications and help parents stay involved and informed with their children’s progress.

No matter what type of timeline solution you choose, the structure will make it easier for your student to hit every deadline successfully, and take control of his/her application process.