Forgetting Things                                                             by Patti Brugman

This is the time of year when students are in a hurry. The last of the deadlines loom closer and closer.

         The situation of final regret happens right after you’ve pushed the button to apply to a favorite school, one that you were nervous about applying to in the first place. Perhaps the item that slipped your mind was that you are ASB president of your school, a mighty job, a great leadership position, and one that indeed might make a big difference on your application. And you forgot to mention it in your list of activities?  This one can be saved, but what if you accidentally uploaded a recent essay on “Hamlet” rather than your fabulous essay on Social Justice for Loyola Marymount?  Oops, indeed.

         To avoid this head-beating error, make it a priority to take your time and double-check everything you do. Big mistakes in the application process are not forgiven in the admissions office. Invite a second pair of eyes to go over your documents carefully. Make sure before you push the button.  If there’s time, upload everything tonight, then push the button tomorrow night.

         Still, no matter how hard we try, sometimes accidents happen. If you feel that, for whatever reason, your application is in trouble, you’ll need some strategies for undoing the damage.

         Let’s step back in time. Did you write a compelling essay for your Common Application, file it in your college file, clearly labeled, and ready to upload?  Did you work with your transcript in front of you as you self reported all your classes and grades?  Make sure to have your school send the official transcript as well.  The same goes for your scores. You self-report and double check, then have the official reports sent.

         Anywhere along the way as you self-report, you should double-check and someone double-check with you.  Still, you might slip and give yourself an extra A or an extra 100 points on your SAT math score. While the best case scenario is that this doesn’t happen, if it does, and you send your Common Application with serious errors, you must contact the school and ask them if corrections over the phone are accepted or if you must send in a written correction.  Most will ask for a written correction.

         If you miss anything on your list of activities, this error can be corrected in the same way.  Call the school and ask if you can send a letter at the end of the semester updating your status.  At that point you can list any end-of-the-semester honors you might have received and include the missing fact that you were ASB president senior year.        

         As you know, you cannot go back in and change the Common Application once you have sent your document off to one school so any errors made on the original application—such as uploading your homework rather than your college essay—will go out to all the colleges.  If you find that you have made this error, don’t send your application to any more colleges.  Call us or see your school counselor immediately.

         For some application errors, the final course of action, is to just let it slide.  If you have sent your transcript, your personal essay, your recommendations, and your scores, you’re in good shape.  Anything you missed about your weekend work at the nursing home will pale by importance.  Forgive yourself. We all make mistakes.