Call now to speak to an academic advisor: (800) 964-0517   

How to create the
Perfect College Application

Work with the world’s foremost experts

Our team of Admissions Consultants have all previously worked with admissions committees at top-tier universities like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton and have personally made admissions decisions on the most competitive applicants around the world. We live and breathe the nuances of this process, and we live for the overwhelming joy our clients have when they realize they’ve been admitted to their dream schools. We don’t just love the college admissions process, we live for it. Meet the team >
Free Profile Evaluation

Admissions Experts

Client Satisfaction: 4.95 (out of 5)
Overall average for most recent application season. Last updated December 03, 2021.

  • "You met and exceeded my very high expectations. Relevant and spot-on advice on how to improve with the perfect combination of pointing out weaknesses and encouragement of strengths."

    Accepted to: Top 5 University
  • "This was an incredibly helpful and eye-opening experience. Above and beyond anything I expected!"

    Accepted to: Top 5 University
  • "My consultant was the best! She had edits back for everything as soon as possible and she was extremely easy to work with."

    Accepted to: USC
  • "I got in! I can’t thank you enough for the hard work you put into my essays and for preparing me for interviews. Thank you for everything."

    Accepted to: University of Pennsylvania
  • "I got into Harvard a few hours ago! Thank you so much for all your help with my application. I’m glad to be finished with the application process and I can’t wait for next year!"

    Accepted to: Harvard

Parents’ and students’ lives mades easier

Proprietary technology created for your benefit

We have created an interactive platform for every stakeholder in the process – students, parents and consultants. Here we take inventory of your strengths, highlight your accomplishments, note setbacks and how to overcome them, and ultimately craft compelling stories for every school on your list.

This personalized, online account will take your application experience to the next level as it tracks deadlines, application to-dos, and every single essay draft. It is only available with Veritas Prep and we promise it will alleviate much of the stress applicants (and parents!) normally face.


The college application process is getting more challenging and competitive each year. Whether you’re applying with the Common App or Coalition App - or you aren’t even quite sure which is which - applying to college comes with an alphabet soup of important acronyms (FAFSA vs. CSS, ACT vs. SAT, AP vs. IB, GPA, etc.) and a host of official and unofficial deadlines that can make for a stressful experience for the whole family.

Insider Expertise From Admissions Officers Themselves

Thankfully, while your family may only endure college application season a few times in your life, Veritas Prep has a team of admissions insiders who have lived and breathed the college admissions process and its nuances for years, both as college application consultants and as college admissions officers at top schools like Princeton, Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, among others. Expert college admissions counselors make the application process significantly easier by helping students meet deadlines, understand application components, and prioritize the most important tasks. More importantly, these insiders will make your college applications more successful, applying the strategic wisdom gained in the most elite college admissions offices in the world to help you write more effective essays, avoid pitfalls, and ensure that your application approach fits your target schools’ institutional priorities and stands out from the competition.

While working with Veritas Prep’s College Admissions Consulting, you will also have access to our Ultimate Admissions Committee - a team of current and former college admissions officers who review your final application before you submit it. Applying the same standards they used to evaluate Ivy and elite school applications as admissions committee members, our experts offer you feedback and ensure that your application passes the test of the most discerning admissions committee members.

Organizational Tools To Make Applying To College Easy

Students who sign up for college admissions counseling with Veritas Prep will also get to use our in-depth proprietary admissions software. This interactive software keeps parents, students, and consultants all on the same page. You can use the software to set timelines, track deadlines, and craft standout extracurricular descriptions, and develop compelling stories for every school on your list.

In addition to application creation help, our software will also help you keep track of time-sensitive college application documents like recommendation letters, scholarship deadlines, and financial aid paperwork. You can stay abreast of deadlines, track your application to-do list, and see a history of every essay draft you’ve developed. You’ll find that this takes much of the inherent stress out of the application process. With a clear mind, you can focus on the things you need to do and let us worry about the rest.


Unsure about the difference between the Coalition App and the Common App? The FAFSA and the CSS? Applying early action vs. applying early decision? Here’s a quick primer on College Admissions 101.

College Applications and College Application Deadlines

Common App: The Common App (or Common Application) is a way to streamline the college admissions process by submitting one application that is accepted by hundreds (but, notably, not all) of colleges and universities. Using the Common App allows college applicants to fill out a single form and complete a single set of college application essays, with that application package being sent to each Common App school the student selects. The Common App allows students to apply to several schools without multiplying the workload. While the Common App is generally considered the easiest application platform and many schools are on it, note that 1) not every school accepts the Common App and 2) some college admissions offices that do accept the Common App also require supplemental, school-specific essays in addition to the Common App essay prompts. The Common App also limits the number of schools a student can apply to 20 in total.

Coalition App: The Coalition App works much like the Common App as a single application application package that a student can send to any number of Coalition App member schools. Run by the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success, the Coalition App offers students an application platform by which students can apply to a smaller number of colleges than does the Common App. The Coalition Application team encourages the schools that use the platform to meet standards in access for underrepresented and underprivileged student populations.

Questbridge Application: QuestBridge is an online application platform that matches the nation's most brilliant students from low-income backgrounds with selective higher education institutions. Considered an aggregator of excellence, the QuestBridge platform aims to increase the percentage of exceptional low-income students gaining access to the nation's top universities. Questbridge finalists must meet rigidi income and academic requirements in order to be eligible. The Questbridge application is significantly larger and more involved than most school applications and due earlier in the school year. There are several phases in the application process. Students start application and submit the application in the late summer/early fall. They submit the application and are then asked to rank 12 of their top choice schools. They are later selected or denied as Finalists. Finalists are notified and then are considered for a “match school” from their list of 12 top choice schools. If they are matched, they must attend the school they are matched to and will attend with a full four year scholarship.

Early Action (EA): Many schools offer Early Action application deadlines, generally in October and November. Students who apply Early Action receive their decisions early (typically in December/January). Applying Early Action is non-binding, meaning that students who apply Early Action are not required to attend that school if admitted. There are two types of Early Action applications: Single-Choice Early Action where students may usually apply only to one private school, one public school or military academy. The most highly selective universities in the country employ SC-EA in order to curb student applications and ensure only serious students apply. For regular EA schools, students may apply broadly to as many other EA schools as they wish. There are three potential outcomes to an Early Action college application: admitted, denied, and deferred/waitlisted (which means that the application will be reviewed again with the general deadline applications).

Early Decision (ED): Many schools offer Early Decision application deadlines on a similar timeline to Early Action: Early Decision applications are generally due in October/November with decisions being released in December/January. Early Decision applications are binding, meaning that a student who applies Early Decision and is admitted must attend that school. Early Decision college applications have three potential outcomes: admitted, deferred, or denied. Because students commit to a binding agreement before a decision is made, ED can sometime impact a student’s financial package.

Rolling Admissions: Some schools and many state schools offer Rolling Admissions far beyond the November and January deadlines of Early and Regular Decision.Students can apply at any point prior to the general college application deadline and schools will make decisions on a rolling basis, with the admissions committee reviewing applications continually as they come in. Students who apply to universities under Rolling Admissions often receive their decisions within 2-4 weeks of submitting their applications, well in advance of their application deadlines to other schools.

Instant Decision: Some schools host “Instant Decision Days” or “Instant Decision Interviews”. Students are invited to attend these events at specific schools and encouraged to bring their completed applications, transcripts,and any supporting materials the school may require. Committee members host interviews or the event day and make a decision on the spot during the interview/event.

College Admissions Tests

PSAT/NMSQT: The PSAT is a test taken by 10th and 11th graders essentially as a “practice” SAT. (The P in PSAT stands for “Preliminary SAT”) NMSQT stands for National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, as the PSAT is used to qualify students for National Merit Scholarship recognition.

SAT: The SAT is one of two universally-accepted college admissions tests. While it used to stand for Scholastic Aptitude Test (and then Scholastic Assessment Test), the acronym was dropped and the test is now simply SAT. Administered by the College Board, the SAT is scored on a scale up to 1600 and has four mandatory sections (SAT Reading, SAT Writing, SAT Math - No Calculator, and SAT Math - Calculator), as well as an optional essay. Students generally take the SAT beginning in the spring of their 11th grade year, and have the option to retake the test up until December of their 12th grade year before application deadlines in January. For early decision and early action applicants, October is usually the final recommended SAT testing date though some schools will also accept the November test.


ACT: The ACT is the other universally-accepted college admissions test. Formerly an acronym for American College Testing, the ACT, too, has dropped the acronym and is now known as simply the ACT. The ACT is scored on a 36-point scale and has four mandatory sections: ACT English, ACT Reading, ACT Math, and ACT Science, as well as an optional essay. Students typically take the ACT in the spring of their junior year and have the option to retake the exam several times before application deadlines in January of their senior year of high school

TOEFL: The Test of English as a Foreigh Language is a test taken by non-native English speakers applying to American colleges as a way to ensure their ability to succeed in Enlish-speaking classrooms.

SAT Subject Tests: In addition to the general SAT, the College Board offers twenty SAT Subject Tests, which assess students in a particular field of study. Most elite schools (such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Princeton) require or recommend that a student take at least two SAT Subject tests and submit the scores as part of a completed college application.

AP Tests

Financial Aid

FAFSA: The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is a form completed by families of college applicants in order for the applicant to qualify for federal financial aid. The FAFSA opens in October of each year for 12th graders, and many states offer FAFSA aid on a first-come, first-served basis so it is important for families to begin the FAFSA as soon as possible, particularly in those states. Those states include: Alaska, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont and Washington.

CSS Profile: The CSS Profile, or College Scholarship Service Profile, is a form filled out by families of college applicants in order for the applicant to qualify for non-federal financial aid (typically financial aid offered by the colleges themselves, including grants and work-study programs). The CSS Profile is a more-detailed form than the FAFSA and generally requires a good deal more effort and documentation to complete than the FAFSA does.


Need-Based Financial Aid: Need-based aid is awarded to families to cover the difference between what colleges calculate the family can pay and what the actual cost of attendance is. Those calculations are based off of the information gathered from the FAFSA and CSS forms.

Merit-Based Financial Aid: Merit-based aid is awarded by colleges as an enticement for a student to attend. The level of merit-based aid depends largely on how much the school values that student as an asset to the entering class (for things like exceptional test scores that raise the school’s averages, exceptional grades and leadership ability, athletic prowess, etc.).

Subsidized Loans: With subsidized loans, interest does not accrue on the loan principal while a student is in school. The federal government offers subsidized Stafford and Perkins loans to students based on need.

Unsubsidized Loans: With unsubsidized loans, interest accrues from the first period in which the loan funds have been disbursed, although students generally do not have to begin making payments until they have finished school. Some federal Stafford loans as well as virtually all private loans are unsubsidized.

College Admissions Timeline

The process of applying to college is a long one. For every formal college admissions deadline, there are a handful of informal or recommended deadlines to ensure you submit a competitive college application. The following timeline is a recommendation on how students should structure their high school years to maximize their college admissions chances.

9th and 10th grade: Take a challenging course load and get involved in extracurricular activities. Schools will want to see evidence of a rigorous academic program on your transcriptsand would like you to have leadership experience in music, sports, drama, or community organizations. Now is the time to broaden your horizons and see which classes and activities you’re most passionate about.

Between 10th and 11th grade: Begin visiting colleges to get a feel for what types of campuses (large vs. small schools, urban vs. rural locations, etc.) appeal to you. Choose schools that are diverse and different to give yourself the best sense of where you truly want to land. By this time next year you will want to have a fairly firm list of schools, so this summer is your best time for exploring.

11th grade: Take the PSAT for National Merit Scholarship qualification.Then, plan to take either the SAT or the ACT (or both) in the spring. Start posting scores you can use on your college applications. If you don’t get a score you’re thrilled with, that’s okay - use experience to determine which test you’re more likely to succeed on and find out where you need to improve to reach your goal. Continue to take rigorous classes, and, in particular, seek out AP (Advanced Placement) classes and tests; successful AP results can give you college credit and help you place out of freshman core classes so you can begin pursuing more electives. Stay involved in extracurriculars and seek out leadership opportunities. Remember to schedule SAT Subject Tests, too, if you are considering schools that require them.

Between 11th and 12th grade: Use this summer to narrow your school list and begin working on applications (which generally are released over the summer). Study for the August/September SAT or ACT if you still need a score you like. Seek out private scholarships and begin applying. Consider using a college admissions consultant from Veritas Prep to help you through a busy fall!

12th grade, September: Seek out letters of recommendation from teachers and counselors; they will get busier as the school year goes on. Ask early. Work hard on your applications for Early Action or Early Decision as those will be due soon. Register for the October SAT or ACT if you still need a score.

12th grade, October. Complete the FAFSA form for financial aid, and work hard on your college application essays. This fall goes by quickly! Check in with your recommenders; be polite and friendly, but make sure they are working on those recommendations for you and will be done with time to spare. Complete your scholarship applications for schools and submit them. Most are due in November and on.

12th grade, November. Early Action and Early Decision deadlines are this month, as well as the application for UC (University of California) schools. And this is your last chance to register for the SAT or ACT if you are applying regular decision. Prepare for admissions and alumni interviews in the first weeks of November and be sure to check your school portals daily to make sure schools have received all of your documents. Follow up on all your documents, as needed.

12th grade, December. Finish your regular decision essays and overall applications (due in January).Receive decisions on your early schools and develop waitlist letters for any schools that waitlisted you.

12th grade, January. Submit your applications, brush up on your interview skills, continue submitting scholarship applications and begin waiting for results.Be sure to get your mid-year reports in to schools that require them and send updates with any new achievements to schools.Don’t forget to check your Regular Decision school portals to make sure all of your documents have been received.

Getting Started

Want to give our college admissions consulting a try? Get in touch with Veritas Prep today. Academic advisors and admissions experts are available online and on the phone to provide you with the advice you need to begin. Additionally, take advantage of our free profile evaluation to get advice on putting together a solid college application. We look forward to helping you make your application shine.

Ultimate Admissions Committee

Once you have completed the entire application together with your Head Consultant, it will be given a final, thorough review by a member of our Ultimate Admissions Committee. The committee is comprised exclusively of former Directors and Assistant Directors of Admissions – the very people who made the final decision on hundreds applicants just like you at the most selective schools in the world. No other admissions consulting firm can offer you these layers of confidence before submitting applications to your dream schools.

Call now to speak to an academic advisor:  (800) 964-0517

or contact us

Call now to speak to an academic advisor:

  Call Now

or contact us