Congratulations to all the seniors out there who have applied and met their November 1st deadlines.  You managed to send or self report your standardized scores. You wrote a compelling personal narrative and edited it and revised it. And then edited and revised it some more.  You compiled your activity lists and wrote descriptions of each activity. You secured letters of recommendation and made sure that transcripts were ordered and sent to each school. You filled out lots of forms and answered a lot of questions.  And most importantly you hit submit on the Common Application (or whichever platform the school uses). But I am sorry to say, your work is not quite over. Once the school processes your application, you will be invited via email to make a portal that is unique to each school. This portal will be the way in which schools will communicate with you. It will be where missing components of an application will be posted or whether or not you are being considered for the institution’s honors or scholars program. Without this portal, you will not have access to this precious and often time-sensitive information. 

In this day and age, we are inundated with information that comes at us from many different directions- iMessage, Snapchat, and Instagram. And email sometimes does not get the attention it deserves.  Do not fall prey to outdated information, stay current and on top of your applications, and check your email.


Here are some easy steps you can follow to help you

  1. When you get an email from a school you have applied to, open it when you have time to give it your full attention. Do not check it in between classes or waiting for a red light (your phone should be nowhere near you when you drive–that’s the mother in me speaking). Open the emails when you are at your desk or in the library. 
  2.  Click on the links that will allow you to set up your portal. Be sure to store all passwords and usernames in a safe place (there are many apps like Dashlane that can help you).  Do NOT rely on your computer to store that information. 
  3. Check your portal weekly for updates. 
  4. When in doubt, reach out to the admissions office if you have any questions.