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Five ways to ace college applications

Expert tips on surviving the college application process (without doing all the work yourself!).

By Brad Munson

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Pick your top targets ASAP

As your student’s junior year wraps up, and research and college tours wind down, don’t dawdle: Build that list of four, five, or six schools (no more!) that your child really wants to get into, along with the ones you’ll both be happy with even if the Big One doesn’t come through. Then have your child request or download those applications and study them. When are the deadlines? Are there “early-bird” ones? Are some financial aid packages contingent on early applications? Though there are great similarities between schools, no two applications are exactly alike, and you’ll want to treat and schedule each one individually. Chances are some will closely resemble the Common Application (see the next slide), but in this case, the devil is definitely in the details. Check them all out.

Brad Munson is a freelancer writer, father, and sex educator based in Pasadena, Calif.

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

10/28/2011:
"i think its so wrong that the people that looks at your application and decides wether or not you get accepted into the college of your choice just because they want someone thats over the top/an einstein and thats truly unfair "
10/3/2011:
"I love school "
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