Amy Haskell, M.A., M.Ed., Founder, Total Writing Enrichment Services
Remember your senior year? That euphoria that comes with impending freedom, looking towards the future with unending optimism, bonding with classmates you finally found common ground with and making your mark in your very own way. In so many ways all of your hard work has been leading to this moment.
Before all the excitement, though, senior year starts with months of stress. The overwhelmingly complex college application process, with its many components, can make even the most organized parent-student team feel like its world has transformed into sudden and complete chaos.
As your rising senior’s summer begins, take a moment to breathe – you deserve it! – and go through a simple summer college application checklist so you feel prepared to make even the fall of senior year a memorable and positive experience!
These next several months are a crucial time to prepare everything you need for college admissions. This college application checklist will tell you exactly what to do the summer before senior year so you and your teen can enter the last year of high school with confidence and a sense of calm.
SCHEDULE COLLEGE VISITS
College visits, likely virtual this year, are an important step in the college application process. Visits help you and your teen:
– narrow down that ever-growing list of colleges to apply to
– envision the “perfect fit” school
– demonstrate interest to that school’s admissions officers
Learn all the necessary information about the colleges and sometimes even gain a little more motivation!
WRITE DOWN APPLICATION DEADLINES
Colleges have varying deadlines, typically between October and March, some have rolling admission, and if your teen is applying early decision or early action, you can expect to submit your first application by October. What does that mean for you? There are numerous important dates to note.
If you are using the Common App, it will consolidate your deadlines for you. However, no matter what, compiling a list of those deadlines and the requirements of each school, and making a calendar with your teen can ease the process, help you feel more organized, and avoid any last minute rush and hastily done applications.
CHOOSE TEACHERS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS
If your teen hasn’t already, encourage them to decide the teachers they will ask for recommendations. The earlier your teen asks, the better, as teachers tend to become flooded with requests come the fall.
When deciding on which teachers to ask, consider the teachers your teen had memorable and positive experiences with, even if that teacher wasn’t a favorite. Your teen may have struggled and his or her grade might not have been the highest, but their persistence might have impressed the teacher.
DRAFT YOUR COMMON APP COLLEGE ESSAY
The Common App essay topics have been released and are similar to last year’s. With that in mind, encourage your teen to start brainstorming potential topics and try out different ideas.
By working diligently this summer on college essays, your teen is one step ahead and on track to finish his or her essay before senior year even begins. My specialized College Essay Writing Program, offered each summer, offers personalized guidance throughout the writing process and ensures your teen will have a complete, attention-grabbing essay well ahead of any deadlines.
The college application process is not an easy one, but before you know it, you will be watching your teen walk across that graduation stage ready to step into the future of their dreams. That moment will make this process completely worth the stress! In the meantime, follow this simple summer college application checklist to make sure you’re prepared and assured for the road ahead.
Amy Haskell is the CEO and founder of her educational consulting company, Total Writing Enrichment, where she helps parents of motivated teens write killer essays that earn “A” grades and wins college acceptance and scholarships – without the parents having to lift a pen!