Posted by ICON School on Jul 19, 2022 4:15:50 PM

student writing in notebook with laptop

Submitting a college application is a very exciting time for students of an online school. Still, it will involve a lot of planning to make sure you put your best foot forward and make a striking impression on college admissions boards. 

Though it may feel like you have plenty of time to worry about this later, before you know it, your senior year will fly by, leaving you wondering where all that time went. So, as we begin thinking about our college applications, here are some tips to get you moving in the right direction.

Start With a Plan

As with writing any essay, it begins with the research. Come up with a list of colleges you would like to apply to and read about their requirements for applicants. Every college will have unique guidelines for what they are looking for, so be sure that you make a note of each of their requirements. 

Ideally, you should give yourself plenty of time to:

  • Research each college
  • Brainstorm your answers to the essay topics
  • Write the applications
  • Get feedback
  • Revise your work
  • Take an extended break
  • Revise again

If you need some tips on how to elevate your writing, you can get pointers here. Be sure to add the submission deadlines to your calendar and plan how far in advance you should begin working on these applications. This will give you plenty of time to make a great first impression. 

You will also need to decide who will be writing your letter of recommendation. Keep in mind that teachers can be busy, so be sure to give them plenty of time to write. 

Related: How Does Online School Impact College Applications?

Choosing Who Will Write Your Recommendation Letter

Being a student of an online school, you will need to be a bit more proactive in how you seek out a letter of recommendation. You might already have the perfect teacher in mind, but if you don’t, think about which instructor’s teaching style you connect with the most. What about their teaching has made an impact on you? 

Reach out to your teacher and let them know what their class has meant to you. Teachers love to hear when they’ve done a great job, so this is the perfect opportunity to reach out to them. After you’ve established this connection, you can ask them if they would be open to writing a personal recommendation.

Write From Past Experiences

While colleges definitely want to see your academic accomplishments and work ethics, they also want to know more about you as a person. This is a chance to write from the heart and inject some passion into the essay. 

Tell them about your experiences and what makes you...well, you! Talk about any challenges you have faced and how you handled them. Your history will give them a reflection of the personal qualities you possess. No one else in the world has lived your life, so this is an opportunity to make your application stand out from others. 

Honesty is key. It might be tempting to try to write what you think the submission board wants to hear, but what the board really wants to hear about is you. You can talk about your hobbies and any other activities you’re interested in. Just be sure to keep your essay focused and be intentional about which hobbies you include. Make sure these hobbies are relevant to the essay topic and help paint a picture of who you are and why that makes you a great candidate for their college.

Related: College Prep by Year for Online Students

Don’t Forget to Follow Up

There’s always a chance that your application could get misplaced. College admissions offices have many files floating around and likely just as many documents sitting on their hard drives. It’s best to send a follow-up to the admissions department just to make sure they received everything they need, and that you didn’t forget to include any information in your application.

This simple step can put your mind at ease that you followed all their guidelines correctly, but it’s also an extra opportunity to show the department that you care about the admission process. Taking the initiative will give the faculty another great impression of you.

Wrapping Up

College applications can take a lot of time to get right, so be sure to give yourself months in advance to research, make a plan, brainstorm essay ideas, write, get feedback, and plenty of time to revise. As it’s often said, writing is rewriting! Congratulations on taking your first steps toward applying to your dream college, and good luck!

Do you need any other questions answered about the college submission process? Don’t hesitate to reach out so we can help you further.

ICON School

Written by ICON School

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