Rising Seniors: August College Checklist

August college checklist for SeniorsHappy summer everybody!
I hope you are enjoying that summer sun and recharging your batteries!  If in a down moment of solitude, you want to think about college admissions, there are (of course) some things you can be doing (big surprise, right?).  For the full list, make an account on CollegeMapper, but here are the highlights:
New Seniors:
Ok you really have to know what your college list is by now.  Really, it’s time.  Get it all solid, and plan to apply to 7-8 colleges, no more than 10.
Call all of your colleges now to see when the new essay prompts will be available.  You cannot go on the websites and find them because often they leave up the prompts from last year and so you could spend hours writing something that will be a total waste of your time. (I’ve seen it happen many times and it is so sad!)  Aim to have as many essays as possible started this month, and to be done with them before school starts.  There are samples of main essays and of the small activity essay that many apps require posted here, as well as my guidelines after teaching/editing these essays for 20 years.
Schedule any fall tests now for Sept. (ACT) and Oct. (SAT) so that you get your first test center and don’t have to drive four hours from home…  Decide if you want to apply Early Action or Early Decision, both of which I highly recommend.  If you still need to take these tests, you need to prep your weak spots.  As I always tell my students, “Your score won’t go up just because you show up.”
Finish up your activities resume and the recommendation letter questionnaires for your teachers and school counselor.  You can only send two teacher letters and one counselor letter with your applications, so these need to be good.  You don’t need to waste time and energy asking random family friends or famous people for letters.  Write to me on the Forum and I’ll explain why, if you’re curious!
Focus on essays in July and applications in August—not the other way around—and you’ll be all set!

Happy Summer, everybody!


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