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. It gives you a chance to convey background that wouldn’t otherwise make it into the student’s application, such as: 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? 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. Colleges are dependent on meeting their enrollment goals. An applicant who’s sure to enroll can make for a more appealing admittance.   

3. Help Students Advocate for Themselves

You can show students how to be their best advocates in the college application process. Encourage them to get extra recommendations to supplement their applications. A letter from someone in upper management or administration at your school, like a principal, can make an admissions officer pay special attention to an application. If a “higher-up” in your school is willing to do this for a student, be sure you help your student ask for it. 

For students who have their heart set on a particular college, encourage them to go above and beyond. They can send an extra letter of interest to admissions officers explaining why they want to attend the school. They can also use social media to show interest by commenting on a college’s Instagram posts or Twitter feed.  

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.