Juniors, this is summer is SHOWTIME for you!
Are you a rising senior? Now is the summer of your discontent that will open the doors for the spring of smiles next year. Sorry to tell you but now is the time to get down to serious college application and paperwork preparation work.
So let’s go through what you should be working on, if you are able to….if you have other important things, such as summer school or a job, which you need to have in order to help with finances, there are still ways for you to get this work done. It will be a sweaty summer for you. If you need some help, then you can always contact us. There are many options for help with part or all of the process.
First, before you leave school for the summer, be sure to have your two teachers, who are to recommend you to your guidance or school college counselor lined up. Ask you two teachers or as some schools have the process automated through Naviance™ or some other internet format, identify those two teachers for your counselor. These are NOT your college recommendations, but rather recommendations that the school counselor will use to write up the School Counselor Report required by almost all colleges for admission.
Second, some public and private, as well as boarding, schools have a parent recommendation that needs to be done. I know it sounds odd, but the school counselor is soliciting as much information about you in order to write up an effective School Counselor Report for the colleges. Parents are encouraged, usually via Naviance™, or a form to write up something about their child.
Third, you need to go through all your English papers and find a good one that represents you, which is graded. Have a folder with all the necessary papers started, which you will use when doing your applications. Some colleges request a graded school paper. So pick one out that reflects you best. It doesn’t have to be the highest graded paper, but the one with the most thorough and thoughtful comments about you.
Now, study, study, study for you finals! Get those grades to your best possible this year. You will have only one semester, trimester or a quarter of grades this fall before you submit your applications. Get your grades up and ensure you end the school year looking determined for the next phase of your academic career, which you will be starting in about one year from now.
During June, if you are here, you need to brainstorm and outline several personal statement or essay topics. Need some support, call us!
If you can, draft one or two…please do not worry so much about form or perfect writing, just write! Talk to your computer is what I tell my student clients. Tell the story to it. Paring down and essay, editing for length, grammar, and diction are all much easier with a lengthy story than two sentences of something that is only a thought. Tips on writing the college essay are an upcoming article! Be sure to look for it soon.
Also during June, you need to complete the student activity resume on Naviance™ if you are using it; if not, you need to start one. It must be formalized by the end of August. You will need a formal student resume done, which can be printed out and mailed. This is NOT the Naviance resume, which is not transmitted to most colleges. If you need a free resume template, just contact us!
Now we are in July and this is the month to formally have your personal statement essay done! Yes, Done. You will be submitting it to your school counselor formally during September. Some of you will be able to email a draft or two over the summer, but hold off getting too insistent on reviews at this stage. You need to have it written and reviewed for basic grammar, writing and content. It will be edited and reviewed again. Think at least 3 drafts but have your most polished done by the end of July, awaiting its final review in the fall. July is also the time when the final list of schools needs to be formed. It will also be subject to change in September but you should be thinking in terms of targets, reaches and safeties…any combination of at least 9 schools is best. I like one to one to one ratios-so 3, 3 and 3 or 4, 4 and 4. Need some help, contact us!
August is upon us and where are you? You are now applying! Yes!!!! The Common Application will be loaded. Many other schools use the Universal Application, which will also be loaded. Do not fill out an application that says 2014-2015 School year. That is last year’s. Look for 2015-2016! You will be entering in the fall of 2016….you are the class of 2020! How nice does that sound! Great year…truly a VISIONARY class (hahahaha)!
It’s a process that you need to start it now! There are no shortcuts. Depending on your list, you will have supplemental essays to write as well. You will have more time to work on these as you can submit them after you submit the main application, closer to deadline. But this is what you need to fit in, during this summer for college preparation and application.
Ideally, you are done with your standardized tests, but many will not be. So, for those who will need to take the tests again in the fall, I prefer that preparation for the fall testing to start the last week of July and the month of August intensely then down to weekly until the September through November testing is completed. Closer to the test dates is better but allowing yourself at least 6 weeks to get back into it.
“OMG! When do I have a vacation!!!,” you are saying. Well, I suggest you schedule your vacation time early in the summer and maybe just a longer weekend or just a week at around the end of the summer. This is your active summer. If you can take a college credit program, one that actually gives your college credit, then great. If not, don’t fret. Working a job is great, as is doing community service, and traveling to see colleges are other great things to add to your plan. But please keep in mind, there is a lot on your plate this summer. Plan for it. If you need help, we are here!