Once the last of the college applications have been submitted, your students may start to complain about how waiting feels like watching water boil.

But, of course the post-application period isn’t a waiting period for you. This is a key time for high school counselors to do really effective work for college-bound seniors. To help you organize your packed to do list during this busy period, here are three simple but impactful ways you can help boost your students’ chances of admittance.

1. Pick Up the Phone

A little extra nudge — in the form of a phone call — can go a long way in helping a special application stand out. Has a student made a significant impact inside or outside of school after their application was turned in? Were there circumstances that affected their performance in school? Is there a particular reason a student would thrive at a specific college? Placing a call to the admissions office gives you a chance to convey background that wouldn’t otherwise make it into a student’s application. “Admissions officers are predisposed to trust high school counselors,” says Kevin McMullin, founder of admissions counseling firm Collegewise and author of If the U Fits: Expert Advice on Finding the Right College and Getting Accepted. For admissions officers fielding hundreds of applicants, a counselor putting a student’s application in context can make the difference between a yes and a no.   

2. Tell Colleges If They’re a First Choice

If you know a student is definitely going to enroll if accepted, let a school know. Sara Harberson, an admissions consultant who worked as an associate dean of admissions at the University of Pennsylvania and dean of admissions at Franklin and Marshall College, says, “Most colleges are still remarkably dependent on meeting their enrollment goals. Oftentimes, when they know a student is highly likely to enroll, they tend to be more willing to admit them.”  

3. Help Students Advocate for Themselves

You can show students how to be their best advocates in the college application process. Encourage students to get extra recommendations to supplement their applications. Says Harberson, “When I was a dean of admissions, I used to pay particular attention when a principal or head of school contacted me about a student who had made a significant impact or contribution to the school community. They didn’t do it often so it meant even more.” If a higher-up in your school is willing to do this for a student, be sure you help your student ask for it.

Students who have their heart set on a particular college can send an extra letter of interest to admissions officers explaining why they want to attend the school, says Angel Perez, vice president for enrollment and student success at Trinity College. He’s also begun to see students using social media to make colleges know they’re interested by commenting on a college’s Instagram posts or Twitter feed. “The key to all of these approaches is to be sincere. We know when a student is trying to game the system by using these methods,” he warns.

The role of a counselor doesn’t end once a student sends in their applications. Your extra advocacy after applications are turned in could be what it takes to make a student stand out from the bunch and get them into the college of their dreams.