Road Map for July: Class of 2018

Congratulations on finishing a very busy year!  I hope you’ve had an opportunity to take a break and are getting ready to work on applications and essays.  You will have a better product and a less stressful process if you start early and take advantage of your time off from school.  For DC-area students, I’m offering a college essay workshop at the Hill Center next Tuesday (July 11) to help you get started with advice for your personal statement, as well as prepare you for the writing supplements many colleges require.

This is also a good time to get focused on your college list.  Once you have spring test scores and your updated GPA, you’ll have a better idea of which schools are in the Reach, Target and Likely categories and can make sure you’re applying to the right number of each.  Summer campus tours can also help you decide which schools might be the right fit for you, and many offer opportunities for interviews with admissions staff.  (For support with developing your list or preparing for visits and interviews, contact me to set up a consultation.)

The Common App will go offline July 24 and will reopen August 1 with the 2017-18 application.  However, information you enter now (such as your profile, family, academic history and activities) will be saved, so go ahead and get started.  The new version will also offer a self-reporting feature for courses and grades, which a few colleges and universities have announced they will require.  You may also want to familiarize yourself with the Coalition application, which more colleges will be using this year; a few, such as the University of Maryland, will use that platform exclusively.

One more thing you should consider as you enter the college application cycle is whether your social media accounts need some editing.  Be sure your online presence makes the kind of impression you want colleges to have; a few Harvard applicants learned a hard lesson this year on that subject.