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Articles / Applying to College / Submitting Extras Once Applications Have Been Sent

Jan. 12, 2005

Submitting Extras Once Applications Have Been Sent

Question: I want to send an extracurricular-activities list to colleges, but I mailed out all the required documents already. Should send it separately in an envelope or forget about it? Will it make me seem disorganized if I submit materials separately?

It's fine to send out a separate résumé even though your applications are already complete. Just make certain that you:


1. Carefully label all pages of the résumé with your name and high school name.

2. Don't send your résumé to any colleges (e.g., Stanford) that specifically state in their application instructions that they do not want unsolicited extra submissions.

If, down the road, you have something else you need to submit, too, it's okay to do it separately. Typically, everything you submit is put into your application "folder" by the secretarial staff. Admission committee members won't know if your materials arrived all at once or piecemeal. Of course, do try to be considerate of the folks who are juggling mountains of paper work, and plan ahead when possible.

However, as I already cautioned you, don't send extras to colleges that have rules against them. Also, as you decide what to send--and what not to--keep in mind that there's an old admissions saying, "The thicker the folder, the thicker the kid."

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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