The College Essay
The first strategy for a college bound senior would be to complete the Common Application (CA) and answer one essay prompt. This application is shared by 517 colleges and universities in the United States and 6 foreign countries. Each college can add unique features, but the majority of the application is as the name suggests, common. Most likely your senior will apply to a few schools that accept the CA, thus once they decide on which CA schools to apply to, they can submit their application immediately.How Will Your Student Apply?
Applying to college has changed drastically in the past 15 years. In addition to no longer using paper applications, colleges have different application deadlines.The first deadline is Early Decision (ED). This is a binding agreement between the student and college stating if admitted, the student will withdraw all other applications and accept admission into that school. These are usually due beginning November 1st.
Early Action (EA) This application deadline means the student will apply earlier than the majority of students to a particular college/university. This usually takes place between November 1st to December 1st. Colleges agree to act on their application earlier, usually by the end of the calendar year.Regular Decision This is the standard or last date that a student will be considered for admission into the college. Some schools will notify students in the applicant pool on one date, others will have Rolling Admissions; admitting/denying students within weeks of their application being submitted.
Visit CampusesNow that applications have been submitted, consider visiting campuses. As stated in a previous blog post (How to Get the Most Out of Campus Visits, 4/8/13), this is a great way to see if your student is the proper fit for a campus. Is it a very active campus? Intellectual campus? Athletic campus? Does the culture of the campus fit with the personality of your student? Researching online, reading brochures and talking with college admission representatives cannot replace the unique 'feel' of each campus. Walk the quad, eat lunch in the dining hall and sit in on a freshmen level course to answer these potential questions.
Avoid SenioritisSenioritis is a terrible ‘disease’ plaguing seniors. The best remedy is to make sure your college bound senior does not develop poor study skills and maintains their grades. Even though colleges consider a student’s first six academic high school semesters for admission, colleges still review their senior year course schedules. Most even require first semester and final transcripts be sent. This ensures the admitted student has continued to make academic progress and can handle the rigors of a particular school. Every year students have their acceptance rescinded because the student did not take their senior year education seriously. Make sure this does not happen to your college bound student!
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