USA Today ran an article today with some good insights into the arduous college applications process.
Like the family in the article, our daughter used a spreadsheet (Excel) to keep track of application and scholarship deadlines and fees. She had columns to check off as test scores and recommendation letters were completed. I highly recommend this to anyone about to embark on the process.
I also suggest setting aside a small chunk of time to work on "college" on a daily basis, beginning no later than September, which will prevent the student from being overwhelmed by the work involved once November and December hit.
Unlike the family in the article, our daughter did all the work herself, other than my proofreading her essays. It was time consuming, but I think it was a good thing that she "owned" the process as she worked through the applications and later the final college decision.
I'm happy to say that all the hard work was worth it, as she has very much enjoyed her first week at college. Tonight she walked past Leonard Maltin on campus...she is a film fan like the rest of our family so that was really fun. Maybe one year she can take his class. :)