Top Tips for College Applications: Q&A with Mrs. Garcia and Mr. Jaskoski

Jamey Walker | Reporter

The first deadline for college applications is coming right around the corner and many students are wondering things like: Should I still take the SAT? Which type of application should I submit? And what’s important to include? Luckily, Mrs. Garcia and Mr. Jaskoski have answers.  

What are the different types of deadlines for college applications? 

Mr. J: “Early action is where you can apply to a number of schools, typically by November 1st and they will guarantee you a decision before Christmas.” 

Mrs. G: “There’s also early decision, which is more like making a commitment to a school. It’s a binding contract you make with them, so if you’re admitted under early decision you have to go.”  

Mr. J: “Then there’s rolling admission which would be for places such as Ball State or Indiana State. Once you submit your application, they will send you a response within three to four weeks depending on the time of year.” 

When do you recommend students submit their applications? Are there benefits of one deadline over another?  

Mr. J: “The biggest thing is apply early. November 1st is a very typical deadline for most schools so you can never go wrong with submitting everything by then.”  

How many applications would you recommend that students submit? 

Mrs. G: “I would say three to five would be a good number to consider. It’s always good to have one or two that you know you would get into, one or two that would be more of a stretch or reach school, and one or two that are somewhere in the middle.”  

What do students need to complete in Naviance?  

Mr. J: “requesting the transcripts, requesting a letter of recommendation if you need it, and signing the FERPA waiver on common app. That’s all included on the back of the blue sheets.” 

What are your tips for the common application? 

Mr. J: “The biggest part of common app is the essay, so you could get that done during the summer, when you’re a junior. That saves you a lot of time because the rest of [the common application] is filling in your activities, putting in your grades, and your demographic information.” 

A lot of schools are going test optional. Should students still take and submit their SAT and ACT scores?  

Mrs. G: “If you have them, yes.  Submitting them isn’t going to hurt you in any in any way. One thing to look out for is scholarships because there are still schools that have scholarships with a minimum test score attached to it. You might not need [scores] to actually get into the school, but it might be a good idea to have them for scholarships.” 

Who should students use for letters of recommendation? 

Mrs. G: “I think classroom teachers who know your work ethic really well and can give very specific examples of that.”  

What can underclassmen do to prepare for senior year?  

Mrs. G: “It’s really good to do a lot of your background and research during your junior year and in the summer coming up to the senior year.” 

What other tips do you have? 

Mrs. G: “Make this a family affair as much as possible; talk with parents about colleges you’re considering going to especially if they’re going to play a part in it financially.” 

Mr. J: “I would encourage all the seniors and their families to fill out the FAFSA form.” 

Illustration by Jamey Walker.

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