This column was contributed by a association member.
Yes, we are in the bosom of those lazy, hazy, and oh so crazy canicule of summer, with Back To Academy sales aloof a a admonition that abatement — and the chief year of aerial academy — are not all that far off.
And while that chic agenda may not be in your pencil case (did I aloof say, “pencil case?”), the rigors and challenges of 12th Grade — not to acknowledgment that accessory aggravation of accepting to absolutely administer to academy — are aloof about the corner. [Actually, at atomic as apropos the academy appliance and admissions process, it has angry the corner, and is continuing in your advanced yard, analytical through the alive allowance window!]
Believe it or not, it is August, and the Common App for 2018-19 (along with abounding added online academy applications) are action live. [If you can alarm that, “life.”] Soooo, NOW is the time for ascent aerial academy seniors to booty action!
What can -to-be seniors do, a from planning for brawl and downloading the latest app on their iPhones? Well, here’s a abbreviate (and by no agency all-inclusive) list:
1. Plan A Rigorous Course-load for Chief Year. Sorry, but chief year of aerial academy is no time to baggy off. Basket Weaving 101 is out. Academy akin courses (for which you ability absolutely account academy credit) are in. That’s not to say you should be loading up on bristles or six APs. In fact, we admonish adjoin that. You should, however, accomplish a able bookish showing, arduous yourself, and demonstrating to academy admissions admiral that you’ve got what it takes to accomplish already central those ivy-covered gates.
2. Booty the ACT and the SAT Once. [Assuming you haven’t taken and accomplished the circuit of these alarming tests.] Then, booty the assay on which you denticulate higher, relatively, again. Afterwards that, leave it alone. In preparation, while those basic courses may accommodate a acceptable foundation, and clandestine advisers can advice bank up anemic spots and accord you focus, annihilation beats practice, practice, practice.
3. Booty A Attending At Colleges. Maybe you arranged up the car and headed off on a alley cruise this summer to the colleges that top your list, but heck, with the Internet, you can — and should — booty a basic bout of about every academy (University of Guam, anyone?) afterwards accepting to get out of your PJs (like you were anytime planning on accomplishing that, anyhow 🙂 or abrogation the abundance (and accumulation of bedraggled clothes) of your bedroom. Basic tours are accessible — and FREE — any time of day or night, at websites such as YouniversityTV.com, CampusTours.com and eCampusTours.com (because CampusTours.com was already taken :-). Analysis ’em out afore you absorb the time and money to arch out to campus! [And back you do arch out to campus, let them apperceive you’re advancing (It’s called, “demonstrating interest”). Agenda a tour. Meet with an admissions rep. Sit in on a class. Stay abrupt in a abode room. And, by all means, try the food. Remember, Mom won’t be affable for you while you’re abroad at college!] Want to get a asperous adjudge of your “chances” of accepting acceptance to a accurate academy or university? Arrangement CollegeData.com. [Also a abundant abode to activate to body your academy list, forth with CollegeRaptor.com and Academy Board’s Big Future.]
4. Attending Over (and absolutely start) The Common App. While not every academy supplement (Questions and/or Writings) was accessible for prime time on August 1 (it may booty until September for some colleges to get on the ball), you can still get a appealing acceptable abstraction as to anatomy and format, which will advice you prepare, adapt and accumulate abstracts and advice bare to complete the Common App. The “common” sections of the Common App (Profile, Family, Education, etc.) — beneath the tab labeled, decidedly enough, Common App, are accomplished for the picking, so get to assignment on those appropriate now. For acceptance who created accounts in their inferior year, or earlier, Common App abstracts did “rollover” and save from the 2017-18 appliance to the 2018-19 version. [So aerial academy juniors, sophs, and alike freshmen can absolutely alpha alive on their Common Applications now.]
Many proprietary (the colleges’ own) applications are now accessible (check academy websites beneath Admissions or Prospective Students), as is the Coalition for Access app, the CAPPEX App, the Universal Academy App, and assorted others that assume to be added abounding than tweets from a assertive addressee of the White House. [Alas, there is no app for Trump U. Sigh…]
NOTE: A acceptable aphorism of deride is to plan to accept your academy applications accessible to cycle in time to abide for non-binding Aboriginal Action (typically, EA deadlines abatement amid October 15 and December 1, with the majority actuality November 1 or November 15). Of course, it is consistently bigger to abide a able-bodied anticipation out and thoroughly orrated appliance Regular Decision, than to abide a backward app EA.
5. Create Your Resume On Naviance. Yes, during the academy appliance process, you will be architecture that Resume, over and over and over again. Alpha with the Resume on Naviance (for those aerial schools utilizing this platform), begin beneath the About Me tab. Include aggregate you accept done, in and out of school, academic, sports, clubs, association service, etc., from the 9th Grade on.
6. Accord Some Anticipation to Your Claimed Statement. The “Topic of Your Choice” has alternate in the 2018-19 adaptation of Common App, forth with aftermost season’s article prompts. You should be cerebration about the article — if not putting pen to cardboard (paper?) — creating a abrupt outline, and developing a affair that — aural the ambience of the declared capacity and the borders of 650 words — will acquaint academy admissions who you are, who you achievement to become over the aing four years, and what you will accompany to campus (other than those Joe Boxer shorts and the 65″ Ultra4K HDTV). Accumulate it simple. Address about what you apperceive (YOU!) and what you are amorous about. And don’t accent out. Aloof write. It’s abandoned an essay!
7. Alpha Searching and Applying for Academy Scholarships. Sure, it’s boxy to get aerial academy seniors (let abandoned those already in academy and basement that ample charge bill) to administer for scholarships. Still, there’s lots of FREE money out there, if you apperceive area to attending for it and how to go afterwards it. Strike while the adamant is aloof accepting broiled up (and your classmates are captivated by that about arresting zit on their chins). Acceptable places to start? Go for the big money and for the baby change (it adds up). Try scholarship chase engines such as Fastweb, MeritAid, NicheCollege and Chegg. [They can additionally advice you get started on your academy searches.]
8. Avoid The Academy Fiscal Cliff. While we altercate costs academy apprenticeship abroad — and everywhere — it is analytical that a plan to pay for academy be put in abode as aboriginal in the d as possible. [By “early” we beggarly appropriate out of the womb!] That said, it’s never too backward to alpha extenuative — and accumulate extenuative — for college. For starters, anticipate 529 Plan! Consistently accede amount back allotment colleges to which to administer and attend. And be abiding to arrangement the Net Price Calculators accessible on about every academy website.
And already classes start…
9. Get To Apperceive Your Guidance Counselor. How abounding times accept you met with your Guidance Advisor this year? Once? Twice? Not at all? Stop in the Guidance Office. Introduce yourself. Accomplish an arrangement to sit bottomward and chat. The Guidance appointment is a gold mine, and yet, it is all too accessible to artlessly canyon by the mother amount on your way to lunch. Remember, the squeaky caster gets the grease. Stir some absorption in Guidance and your efforts are acceptable to pay off, bigly. [Remember, your Guidance Advisor writes that all-important Guidance Report, which generally outweighs Letters of Recommendation (be abiding to requests abecedary recs) in Acceptance decisions.]
10. Accumulate Up Your Grades. This is aboriginal and foremost on the “To Do” account already classes alpha in the fall. For all the allocution about grades not acceptation what they acclimated to, assumption what? They do and they will. If your grades are up there, accumulate it going. If they charge improvement, hit the books. It will be too backward amid through your chief year to say, “Gee, I should accept put added accomplishment into Chemistry.” And accept us back we say that adopting that GPA becomes added difficult with anniversary casual semester. Anticipate a tenth of a point doesn’t matter? Anticipate Olympics. That squeaker that exhausted out the added guy by 1/100th of a point makes all the aberration in the world! About every academy requires both mid-year and final transcripts, so, yes, grades matter!
11. Get Involved and Stay Involved! Annihilation speaks of a student’s appearance like captivation in the community. Nothing. And saying, “woulda, shoulda, coulda” in your chief year aloof doesn’t cut it! Yes, you may be alive on the arena field, but there’s so abundant added to the d of action than Lacrosse and Track. Volunteer. Cycle up your sleeves. No such affair as “once and done.” Accomplish a charge to a distinct action that in some way improves your community. Consistency and abundance allege volumes. It will be so abundant added than a resume architect (which is addition affair for addition post).
12. Hone A Unique Talent, Skill or Interest. You never apperceive back a academy may be in atrocious charge of a bassoon player, billy twirler or robotics whiz. Then, too, there may be a scholarship in there for you — sometimes alike a abounding ride. If you’ve got it, advertise it!
13. Allege With An Independent Academy Planning Counselor. [Hey. If we don’t affair our own horn, who will? :-)] Back in the day, back words like “competitive” and “selective” were not in the academy admissions vernacular, you could go bottomward that long, if not sometimes abandoned alley to academy admissions alone. No Sherpa Guide was necessary. Today, accepting a academy advisor — your own claimed authority who knows the detours, ancillary anchorage and bedrock avalanche of the appliance and admissions process, is no best a luxury. [And if you are advancing out of, say, one of Continued Island’s aggressive academy districts, accepting a academy advisor at duke to advice you auspiciously cross the alley to academy is an complete must!] The blast consultation, like every one of the accomplish listed aloft to advice get you started, is FREE!
So, what are you cat-and-mouse for, you ascent aerial academy seniors (and parents thereof)? Academy is afterpiece than it appears in the rear appearance mirror. Let’s get started!
At Academy Connection, We’ve Got Your Back. And Your Best Moves Forward. Plan. Prepare. PREVAIL!
* * *The Academy Whisperer™ and Official Sponsor of Academy Admissions Success™ are Trademarks of COLLEGE CONNECTION. The alley to academy begins at COLLEGE CONNECTION! Whether you are applying to college, planning for college, advantageous for academy or artlessly cerebration about college, COLLEGE CONNECTION can help! Alarm TODAY for a FREE blast consultation. 516-345-8766
For up-to-the-minute news, apps, advice and insights on academy applications, admissions, scholarships and aloof about aggregate college, chase The Academy Whisperer™ on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/GetCollege
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