I hope you’ve been enjoying some down time and are ready to start working on applications. Most students are familiar with the Common Application, which you can work on until July 27, when it goes offline. Then on August 1 it will reopen for the new admissions cycle. (Don’t worry, any information you enter now will be saved and you can pick up in August where you left off.) If you haven’t yet created an account and started completing the sections, that’s a great July goal.
Although you may be less familiar with the Coalition Application, if you’re planning to apply to the University of Maryland, the University of Florida or the University of Washington, these schools use the Coalition App exclusively. Others, like Rutgers and Virginia Tech, are not on the Common App, so the Coalition may be your best choice.
In addition to working on applications, I recommend you get started on your essays. I’m holding an essay workshop for rising seniors on July 14 at the Hill Center, which will provide a foundation for writing effective college application essays and includes a one-on-one follow-up session. Details and registration are available here.
Now that you have junior year grades, spring test scores, and AP exam scores you can check the balance of your college list. Do you need more target schools? More likely schools? Should you take some schools off your list? As your list starts to firm up, you’ll want to get a handle on the specific application requirements, especially school-specific essays, and develop a schedule for each step to be sure you stay on track.