Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Recommendations for College Applications

It's not too early to begin organizing the supplemental components to college applications. This includes high school guidance counselor and teacher recommendations.

There is no better time than the present to reach out and get in touch with individuals who have agreed to provide a college recommendation letter. If the recommender has not received a copy of the student's most current resume, the student should make a concerted effort to get a copy to them as soon as possible. The resume gives the recommender an expanded overview of who the student is while also providing a document to reference when they begin to plan what to write.

As the most compelling recommendation letters are personal, specific, and insightful, it is a good idea for the student and recommending individual to meet and have a discussion. This discussion provides the recommender with an opportunity to ask questions while giving the student the opportunity to share any strategic plan for the college(s). Proactively discussing which elements are critical to share, and the preference for how that content should best be presented, is beneficial to all parties.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Rising High School Seniors Getting Busy!

If you are a rising high school senior you should be immersed in preparing for your college applications. If you have not finalized your list of schools for application by now, then a concerted effort toward establishing the colleges that will comprise that list should be a top priority.

Determining the application format (options include specific college website online forms, Common Application, Universal Application) that will be used to apply is an important step. It is not recommended to submit a paper application as the colleges prefer electronic submissions. Once the application format has been determined you can then begin to build a plan to create and submit the required elements.

Which application deadline options are offered at each college you are considering? The range includes Early Decision 1and Early Decision 2 (these are binding admissions contracts), Early Action 1 and 2, Restrictive Early Action (this is a restrictive admission process in certain circumstances), Regular Decision and Rolling Admissions. Rank your prospective colleges in order of importance to you. Use a calendar to plot your specific college application deadlines, backing into each deadline with the required and supplemental elements necessary in order to submit each application component in a timely fashion. A prospective candidate's file is not considered "complete" until all required documents have been received by the college admissions office.

There are other things to determine and add into the application completion mix. Do any of your prospective colleges require and recommend an interview? Are you able or encouraged to submit supplemental documents for consideration by admissions? How many letters of recommendation or reference are required or allowed? Determine which ACT, SAT, SAT Subject test scores you will be submitting, if your college requires they be submitted.

Staying organized and on-task is the name of the game!