Upward Bound

College Admissions: Getting organized and getting it done

Applying to colleges is an overwhelming process for many students. Organization and time management go a long way to easing the stress of getting it all done while still doing well in school.

Early in the fall of senior year, students should have a solid list of at least five schools to which they plan to apply. These schools should range in how selective they are and in how challenging they will be for the individual student to obtain admission. Students should talk with their UB counselor and guidance counselor to make sure those schools are also likely to meet the student's financial need. 

TIP: A school's price tag is very rarely what you will actually pay.
Many private schools are more affordable than public universities after financial aid is applied because they often have more resources to give to students who need them.

Organization is very important during the application process. Students should aim to have all applications submitted to guidance by December 1, so managing time, making lists, and setting goals can really help keep the process rolling. Read more Admissions Wisdom and Application Tips.

Important timelines to keep in mind:

  • Solidify your list of schools-- remember to include one University of Maine system school
  • Check with Common App to see which schools take the Common Application
  • For schools that don't, request a paper application
  • Identify 2 teachers to write recommendations for you and ask them by the end of the month
  • Begin working on the Common Application and U  Maine system application. Most UB seniors will have completed most of it during both apps summer program.
  • Identify your essay topic and begin writing. Be sure to start early! You'll need to do several re-writes so leave yourself plenty of time to do your best work!
  • Check the common app to see which schools require supplements. Print them and start working on an additional essays required
  • Take the SATs and/or ACTs
  • Continue working on your essays. Be sure to have your English teacher and UB counselor read them over for suggestions and edits
  • Check in with your teachers about recommendations and ask for them to have them to you by mid-November
  • Finalize your applications. Check for spelling, proper capitalization, grammar and punctuation before printing or submitting
  • Complete final edits of essays. Put your name and social security on every page, if attaching separately from the application
  • Submit Applications by December 1 to guidance and/or UB