Summer is a great time to get a jump start on college admissions. With some thoughtful planning and organization, you’ll make progress on applications and essays …. and still have time for hanging out at the beach, movies, friends and sleeping late.
Below is InLikeMe’s suggested list for rising seniors:
- Get started on the Common Application. The “common app” is accepted by hundreds of colleges and is available at www.commonapp.org. After you register, you can complete the application at your own pace, revising and saving your work as you progress.
- Brainstorm your application essays. Most competitive colleges require at least one essay. The Common Application offers a choice of 5 essay topics as well as the opportunity to choose your own topic. Consider your options and how you can best portray yourself. Usually it takes several drafts to compose a high quality essay. Be sure to invest the thought and time this important part of the application deserves! You’ll find these themes in various college applications.
- A significant personal experience, achievement, risk or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
- An issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.
- An individual who has significantly impacted you and why.
- A fictional character, historical figure, or creative work that influenced you and why.
- How you can contribute to the diversity of the college community.
- Review and fine tune your college list. Do your research.
- Visit colleges on your list, in person or on the Internet. Make time to prepare for campus visits.
- Review application materials for critical information such as supplements, interview requirement and recommendations.
- Write your resume. You’ll be glad you have when you ask for recommendations. Bring it along on interviews as it will help facilitate conversation
- Study for the SAT, ACT or Subject Tests if you plan to take them.
- Make a spreadsheet listing the colleges you plan to apply to along with key dates and requirements. Refer to this document as your work plan. Add some columns as appropriate for interviews, recommendations, transcript requests, etc. Update the spreadsheet over time. You work plan will help you stay organized and on track.
Author: Lynn Radlauer Lubell, Publisher of InLikeMe.com and Founder of Admission By Design, an Educational Consultancy based in Boca Raton, Florida.