Back to School Road Map: Seniors

The 2019-20 application cycle has officially begun, so let’s get to work!

First, I hope you’ll join me at the Hill Center on September 19 for College Admissions: A Road Map for 11th and 12th Grade Students.  And if you’ve attended this event in the past and found it helpful, please tell a friend!

Applications:  If you entered personal and academic information in the Common App before the site refreshed at the end of July, it should have rolled over; however, recommenders don’t stay in the system from one cycle to the next. That means if you added me as an Advisor, you’ll have to do that again so I can see your application and give you feedback. The Coalition Application is open as well, and you can upload your profile in the Locker and share it through the Collaboration Space.  (Learn more about that here.)  For those of you doing the University of California application, it’s open now too, even though the filing period technically doesn’t start until November 1.

Letters of Recommendation:  If you’ve already asked your teachers about recommendations, touch base with them and then follow your school’s policies for requesting documents.  The Common App integrates with Naviance, so be sure to check with your school counseling office about connecting your accounts.  If you didn’t discuss your recommendations with your teachers before the summer, do that now—in person—and be sure to let them know your earliest application deadline.  Remember that while most Early Decision and Early Action deadlines are in November, they can be as early as October 15 (but not before.) Also make sure your school counselor has everything he or she needs to write your letter and is aware of your deadlines as well.

Essays: You should be working on your personal statement, and if you have a solid draft this is a great time to get feedback on it.  You will also want to get organized now that colleges have released their school-specific essay questions. Create a list or spreadsheet of the essay questions, your topic ideas or selections, word limits and deadlines. Then prioritize and think strategically about which essay topics you’ll use for each school.

Standardized Tests: If you’re done with your testing, all you have to worry about is score reporting. To avoid paying unnecessary fees, click here for a list of colleges that will accept self-reported test scores.  If you plan to take additional exams this fall, be sure to check with each college and confirm that your scores will arrive in time to meet the application deadline.  If not, you may need to report your current scores and update the schools when the new scores arrive.

As always, I’m available for one-on-one support with standardized test plans, applications, essays, gap year planning, and any other college-related topics.  Email me now to schedule an appointment.