Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer... a great time to...

Read, work, volunteer, relax, visit colleges, update your activities resume, and if you are a rising senior, get a head start on the college applications!  As I have toured many schools this past spring, I hear many themes over and over.  One that is standing out to me right now is "The  most successful applicants begin the application process during the summer."  So what should you, the soon to be senior, do?

Come up with a college list you love.  Think about your interests, what would you like to learn more about?  How far away from home would you like to be? What about college costs?  By spending some thoughtful time thinking about these and other questions, you can begin to research schools.  Part of that research should include net price calculators found at every college website which will help determine the actual cost of an individual college.  Talk to family members and older friends about their college experiences. Once you have a few colleges on the list, it's time to...

Make contact with the schools.  Many qualified applicants will be denied admission simply because of never having made contact with the school before submitting an application.  It's called "demonstrated interest" and colleges use it as a way to predict likelihood of a student enrolling if offered admission.  Contact admissions and find out who your admissions rep is.  Ask about interviews, how to get more information about the school, will they be at a college fair near you.

If possible, visit a school or two (or three) on your list.  This can be a great opportunity for an interview and also decide if you love the school or not.  It can also help determine other suitable schools.

Update you activities resume.  You will need this information for applications.  Be sure to come back to it or ask a parent to look it over to see if you have forgotten anything.

Start on the college essay.  Most applications will not be available until August, so getting this done will put you ahead of the game.

Carving out  a few hours each week will get this done and you will be smiling next fall and ready to enjoy your senior year!