The wind howled. The rain belted the windows. Trees fell, and with them, power lines. Lives disrupted. Homes and businesses lost. And, not to be forgotten in the midst of our struggles for find gas for our cars and more than solace from the folks at LIPA, high school students anxious to complete and submit their college applications -- with Early Action deadlines looming!

If the angst and anxiety brought on by the college application and admissions process weren't enough, add to them a devastating hurricane and an impending Nor'Easter -- not too mention high schools that have neither power nor access to Naviance so as to be able to send out those transcripts, Guidance Reports and letters of recommendation.

Still, unlike the receding shoreline, on the college application front, all is not lost. Many schools have extended -- and extended yet again -- the November 1 Early Action deadline. Most schools have reported that they will be flexible in accepting applications past deadline. [Check with individual colleges and universities for specifics.]

That said, here are some tips to help see you through:

Be Patient: Getting back on Common App, or into colleges' proprietary applications, may take time. Systems, where they are indeed up and running, may be slow and overburdened. [Common App seems to have problems when more than two people log in at the same time, so we can only imagine. Hang in there. If at first you can't get on, into or through, try, try again!

Be Vigilant: Check and recheck your applications. Errors and omissions (as well as errors of commission) can sink your ship or, at the very least, run it aground. Read, edit and revise your essays. Reread your short answers. Make certain your applications are accurate, complete, and place you in a light most favorable. Remember, Early does not mean Rushed! If it isn't right, isn't ready, and isn't the best it can possibly be, don't submit it!

Be Persistent: If the application deadline has passed, don't just say, "Oh well. Too bad for me." Call the college's Admissions office to explain your situation ("Hellooooo. We just had a hurricane blow through here!). Chances are, if you are cool, calm, polite and tenacious, like with the gatekeepers at the Emerald City, your application will be allowed through.

Be Realistic: If you hadn't started your personal statement, or barely opened the college application before the storm hit, chances are you would not have been in a position -- at least, not a good one -- to submit by the November 1 Early Action deadline. You want your application to shine, not merely glow dimly like that flashlight whose "D" batteries were on the way out after Hurricane Irene. Missing Early Action, assuming you have no choice, is not always a bad thing. Remember, while the early bird may catch the worm, the second mouse typically gets the cheese. [Think about it! :-)]

Be Prepared: Yes, you should have listened to your mother and started your college applications sooner -- like August. And you should have listened to
 The College Whispererand called College Connection for comprehensive college planning, guidance and support (you still can). Of course, that's water under the proverbial bridge (or in the actual Queens-Midtown Tunnel). Whether you are in the midst of completing and submitting those college applications, or just starting to think about what you're going to write on that critical college essay, to plan and prepare is to prevail!

Be Smart: Navigating that long and winding road through the college application and admissions process, sans the detours occasioned by fallen trees, flooded roadways, and non-functional electrical outlets, is tough enough. [Consider that wending your way through the intricacies of the Common App is like circumnavigating the globe sans compass!] Don't go it alone!
College Connection is here to help!

Whether you are about to commit, finger hovering over the "submit" button, credit card in hand, or you are just getting started (despite dad's admonitions and dire predictions),
College Connection can help make the difference between simply applying to college and actually getting in.

Give your personal statement the voice it deserves. Amp up those supplements. Leave no stone unturned in giving yourself the competitive advantage when it comes to gaining admission to increasingly selective colleges. Find those scholarships that will help you pay for college, and have those pesky financial aid forms, from CSS Profile to FAFSA, filled out accurately and completely.

No one knows the college application and admissions process like
College Connection. NO ONE! So, when the lights do come back on and your telephone has a dial tone (Dial tone? What's a dial tone? :-) CALL US -- 516-345-8766.

We've helped hundreds of students get into the colleges of their choice. We can help you too!

Look. You survived Hurricane Sandy (and likely have the tee shirt to prove it). Surely, anything the college application process could lay before you is little more than a walk on the beach... Um, well, maybe not the beach.

Plan. Prepare. Prevail!

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of The College Whisperer.

Who knows what peril lurks in the college application and admissions process? The College Whisperer™ knows. . .

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