What Do You Do if a Student Misses a College App Deadline?

Are your students forgetting things? Missing deadlines?
That’s not uncommon. We see this every year. On the college essay.
And we can’t blame COVID. Kids are kids. They need reminders during normal times, too.
To address this issue, we give our students a schedule before we start working together. It helps keep them on track, so they don’t lose momentum. It also helps us manage them – and our business – because we know what to expect when.
You’d better believe we stick to that schedule, especially at the start.
Here’s a story to illustrate what I mean.
Ari was enthusiastic about applying to college. He had a schedule, and so did his mom. Still, he missed his first real deadline: setting up a brainstorm appointment.

No big deal, right? The appointment wouldn’t take place till the next week.
In the larger scheme of things, it was a big deal, because I needed him to understand that the schedule mattered. We intentionally start with a low-stakes task, so if a student misses that deadline, we won’t be thrown completely off kilter.
Monday morning, I emailed Ari:
I was expecting you to set up your brainstorm appointment, but I don’t see one on my calendar. Please schedule it today. Just take a look at the email I sent earlier with the instructions to start writing your college essay, and you’ll see the dates that are available for brainstorm appointments. Thanks. I am looking forward to working together.
I copied his mom on the email too. And guess what? Ari set up that meeting. That day. Best of all, he never missed another deadline.
When a student misses a deadline, what do you do?
If you set everything up at the beginning of the process, create a schedule, and give it to your students before you start, you won’t have to chase them after the fact. 

Here’s a sample schedule from the Wow Method, so you can see how we do it.

Kim Lifton is President and Co-founder of Wow Writing Workshop a premier college application essay coaching and professional training company, offering private, virtual writing coaching services to professionals and students throughout the world.  Since 2009, Wow has been leading the college admissions industry with our unique approach to communicating messages effectively through application essays, including personal statements, activity and short answer essays and supplements.  Kim leads a team of writers and teachers who understand the writing process inside and out. Kim blogs regularly about the college essay’s role in the admission process for multiple industry publications and websites. In 2019, she was named a LinkedIn Top Voice in Education.

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