Perhaps, but the second mouse usually gets the cheese!

Plan. Prepare. Prevail! That's the mantra of The College Whisperer, and his advice to the college-bound (and their parents) as they set out on the road to college admissions success.

So what's this we hear about the rush to file the Common Application, being among the first to submit initial paperwork needed for college admission?

READ Pulling an All-Nighter for the College Application, a feature of The Choice in The New York Times.

Whatever happened to thoroughness? Completeness? Tried and true? Slow and steady wins the race? [Remember, the rabbit lost his bid to beat out the turtle, and the shelled-one had a lower composite score on the ACT!]

Deadline for application at most colleges isn't until December 1. Even Early Action/Early Decision applicants have until November 1 in most instances.

So, what's the rush to submit a college application in mid-August? There is none!

Sheer madness. This creeping neurosis among teens and parents alike compelling them to strike, not while the iron is hot, but before it is even plugged in.

College admissions officers themselves reveal that they won't begin looking at college applications for weeks, and, even then, no application will be considered "complete" (and thus, ready for review) until recommendation letters and transcripts are received from the high schools, which (obvious to other than the totally oblivious) cannot even begin to happen until schools open in September.

Does submitting that college app this early in the game give one an edge? Not at all. Take off the edge? Not really. Add to the anxiety of the now longer wait to hear from colleges the mind-scorching queries, "Did I complete my application properly, thoroughly, or merely hastily?" "Did my personal statement (essay) truly reflect the person I had hoped to give voice to?" "Would a once-over by my guidance counselor or college planning counselor (or both) had made a difference?" "What, if in the coming weeks (or ensuing months), I should change my mind about something, anything?" Oh, the angst!

Once you hit "submit," folks, there's absolutely no going back. Be mindful of deadlines. Indeed, submit your college apps well in advance. [October will suffice for the early bird, by any measure.]

Don't just get it done. Get it done right!

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