Tips from WashU’s application experts

Updated for 2018-2019

Hello everyone, I’m Maranda! I have been an application processor for a few years now, and I LOVE working with prospective students as they navigate the college application process. When you call or email with a question about your application, the other processors and I are here with an answer. I want to share our tips with you, in the hope that they will help you stay organized and keep your stress to a minimum as you apply to college.

We know many students have experienced extreme hardships this fall as multiple natural disasters have struck the U.S. and around the world. We want to work directly with students in these areas, supporting and encouraging them as they continue to work toward their dreams. We will be flexible with deadlines and financial assistance for students and families who have been affected.

Here are a few things I recommend keeping in mind as you apply for college.

Choose an app. Washington University accepts both the Common Application and the Coalition Application. Either one is a good choice, but it’s best to choose one and stick with it.

Own the process. I know calendars and lists always help me keep my life straight. I recommend creating a college application timeline with tasks and deadlines for each school on your list. This will keep you organized as you work through your applications and cross items off your list. (Isn’t crossing things off the best feeling?)

Start early. Keep the final deadline (January 2, 2019 for WashU) in mind, but please don’t wait until just before the deadline to begin working on your application! Setting your own – earlier – deadlines throughout the process will keep your stress level lower and help you feel prepared. Plus, you won’t be able to apply for scholarships until after you submit your application for admission. The scholarships deadline is also January 2, so if you wait until the last minute, you might miss your chance to apply for scholarships.

Test in time. You might have heard that WashU is now accepting self-reported test scores. I was so happy to hear this, because I know it will make the application process more accessible for students! Only enrolling students will need to send official score reports. Please remember, though, that you still need to test by December in order to have your scores in time for our January 2 Regular Decision deadline. Also, send in any (self-reported) new scores as soon as you receive them. Again, if you live in an area that has been impacted by a recent natural disaster, we will be flexible with these deadlines and processes.

Check the Pathway. WashU provides an online portal, the Pathway, for applicants to check their status, apply for scholarships, and view admissions decisions. Once your Common or Coalition application is submitted, you will receive instructions to log in to the WashU Pathway. Log in often to be sure you’re aware of any materials that might still be outstanding. I’ve heard it’s super helpful for students to see all of their materials – and anything they may be missing – in one spot.

Hit submit. You actually do not need to have all of your application components – transcripts, test scores, recommendations, etc. – in order to submit your Common or Coalition application. Complete your base application and submit it as early as possible, and then you will have plenty of time to request items from your high school counselor and teachers. Don’t forget to check your status on the WashU Pathway!

Know the schools. We know you get a LOT of mail from colleges and universities. But once you narrow them down, it’s important to read all correspondence and application materials for the schools on your list. Equip yourself with not only the deadlines – which obviously are crucial – but also information about the schools and reasons they would be a good fit for you. Keep these reasons in mind as you apply and visit. We look forward to hearing why you would be excited to be here!

Stay consistent. Use the same name on all documents – application, transcript, recommendations – so we can be sure to keep all of your materials together. This applies to email addresses, as well. If you use more than one email account, it works best if you choose one to use when inquiring or applying to schools.

Include your full address. Please include your street address, city, state, and ZIP code on your application. For international applicants, please remember to include your postal code. We feel so bad when we are unable to process an application because one small piece of information is missing!

These are just a few of the suggestions that my colleagues and I thought might be helpful to share. If you have questions or concerns about anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Feel free to call (800) 638-0700 or (314) 935-6000, or email your application processor. I wish you all the best!