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Through our very own editors and guest writers, this blog will discuss the INSIDE scoop on the admissions process of various schools and programs. If you wish to ask a specific question, please write to us, and we will make every attempt to address your questions in our future blog discussions.
Monday, September 10, 2012
Technology and the College Application
I'll admit, it's been a long time since I applied to college. Back in those days, we still did everything on paper. We even wrote things by hand. I had to send a check in with each application in order to cover the required fee. The biggest panic-besides the deadline-was making sure the inkjet printer didn't need a new cartridge. I did type my admission essay.

Today, technology and the Common Application have completely transformed the college application process. Students can apply to a greater number of colleges with considerable ease. The Common Application has even dispensed with the old-fashioned idea of tailoring essays and applications to each individual college. The one-size-fits-all approach means that students are improving their odds by casting a wider net.

Like any progress, this comes with obvious pitfalls. Just like the olden days, it is the simplest foreseeable mistakes that usually catch us in their webs. (For example, the printer running out of ink in the hour before the application was due in the mailbox). Computers can be finicky, and so can on-line applications. If your computer is on the blink, make sure there is a back-up machine where you can save your work. Oh, and save your work. You don't have to fill out the application all at once, but you also don't want to have to start from scratch when you go back to it. Expect the worst and hope for the best. Don't rule out power outages, internet problems or wireless failures.

When it comes to college applications, the march of time doesn't change the rule of thumb: don't leave everything until the last minute. Technology is faster until it isn't. Stay one step ahead of it.


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