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Graduating student Tiana Raphel has "To Begin Anew" written on her cap as she attends a service before the 365th Commencement Exercises at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 26, 2016. Reuters

If you're a high school student, you might want to skip the New Year's parties this weekend.

The regular decision deadline for colleges across the United States was set for Sunday. Columbia University in New York, Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Northwestern University in Chicago were among the institutions expecting to receive applications from thousands of students on the first day of the year.

If you're hoping to be among them, don't fret — even if you started late, you can still make your application stand out. Check out these last-minute tips, with sources linked, to make sure your transcript shines:

1. Proofread.

This is an easy way to improve your application. Go through your essay and short responses extremely carefully, ensuring that you wrote the right school's name and spelled everything correctly. Then read it all out loud to catch any grammar errors.

2. Use a professional email address.

If you're still logging in daily to your fifth-grade screen name, stop. Instead, create a professional handle using your first and last name. This may seem insignificant, but you don't want to give college admissions officers any reason to doubt your college readiness.

3. Don't hit "submit" at 11:59 p.m.

Sunday isn't Y2K, but you can never be too careful. College websites crash, too. Even if you spend all day working on your application, don't wait until the literal last minute to turn it in. Send it off earlier in the evening.

4. Print out copies of everything.

Website forms can be finicky, and you can't afford the time to deal with glitches. As you're filling out your application, print copies of your work. That way, if something goes wrong, you have a record that you submitted your completed application on time.

5. Tidy up your social media profiles.

Once you've sent your application, take a few minutes to perfect your online presence. Untag yourself from inappropriate Facebook photos and delete profane tweets. Colleges may search for you online, and you don't want unflattering content popping up.

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