Launch Global Education
Sparks blog: Taking care of important documents

by Dr. Ann Wagner

You might need that later.

With all the paperwork and digital documents students accumulate over their secondary and college years, it is difficult to know what you might need in the future. Grade reports, transcripts, community service logs, and standardized test scores are just a few of the academic records you may need.  But then there are your personal records: medical records, driving licenses, identification cards, and the like are very important in the college admissions process as well.

Get organized

Yes, you hear it a lot, but it is important! There is no way around coming up with a structured system to keep track of things.  Sure, you can do what many people do and throw everything in one big pile. However, when you need to find something, you will have to rummage through a thousand fast food and ATM receipts.

Thousands of pieces of paper

Create paper files

As you get ready to apply for college and continuing through your college years, there will be important physical documents that you will collect. Create a special place to keep these such as a file in a drawer or a box on a shelf that is easy to access.

You should also store important identification, such as passports and other identification cards in a safe and secure place.  And make sure you regularly check these for expiration dates. Most take many weeks to renew, so you should not wait until the last minute, or even worse until after they expire, to get a new one. Failure to do so could prevent you from starting school.

File folders

Create digital files

Some important documents will be sent to you digitally.  Create a file in your email, on your computer desktop, and/or on your phone for these important documents. You may also want to scan or take a photo of the paper documents you have and add them to your digital file as well.


Do it now

Your system is only as good as your dedication to it.  Tossing important documents on your desk for later or leaving documents in your email is a sure way to misplace what you will need. The application and enrollment process is long, complicated, and ongoing.  You will not only need many of these documents before you leave for college, but you will also need them while you are there as well. Taking the time to set up good record-keeping habits now will pay off later.

I want to thank you painted sign

Your future self will thank you.

Dr. Ann Wagner

Ann Wagner, EdD is a founder and the Vision Engineer for Launch Education.  Dr. Wagner has led international schools around the world and currently teaches at the university level, working with educators earning their master's degrees.