Road Map for August: Rising Seniors

Are you enjoying a restful summer break? Are you starting on college applications and essays? Ideally, the answer to both of these questions is “yes.”

After a week offline to update for the 2017-18 application cycle, the Common App is now open.  While students were having some technical problems with rollover accounts earlier this week, I understand these have been resolved and information you entered before the updates was saved, so you can pick up where you left off.  Other application platforms, such as the Coalition application, Universal College Application and Cappex will ask for similar information, as will schools that have their own systems, and individual colleges will be adding their own essay requirements to these application systems over the next few weeks.  Using this time before school starts to get some drafts done will help keep your fall workload more manageable.

I’ve spoken with many of you who have been prepping this summer for fall standardized tests, and others who are lining up classes and tutors for the coming months.  You should also make decisions on test dates and register for your exams.  As you finalize these plans, check individual colleges’ websites for information on Early Decision and Early Action deadlines for test scores as well as policies on superscoring and Score Choice.  And while you’re looking at deadlines, start a spreadsheet or figure out another way to get organized.  The Common App requirements grid, found under the “College Search” tab after you log in, is a terrific way to track Common App schools and a model you can use for additional schools.

Finally, if you’re wondering whether a gap year might be a good option, start doing some research on this as well.  The American Gap Association is the best place to start.