Road Map for Summer: Class of 2024

I hope you’ve got a fun summer lined up to give you a break between your busy junior year and the upcoming fall. At the same time, college applications and essays take a lot of time to prepare, so I encourage you to get as much work done on them as you can before the beginning of the school year.  If you need help getting started, I hope you’ll join me for one of my upcoming summer application and essay workshops. Each two-part workshop includes a webinar and an individual follow-up session.

Summer is also an opportunity for a round of campus visits. If you can’t make it in person to every school you’re considering, however, you can learn a lot from colleges’ websites. I recommend reviewing the academics and student life sections, paying special attention to the things you care about the most: the majors you’re interested in, the activities you’d like to pursue, and any supports you’ll seek out to ensure that you can thrive on campus. Then check out the admissions section for virtual tours and info sessions, either scheduled or on-demand, as well as information on the school’s application process, deadlines, interview policies, and other important details.

Most students are still finalizing their college lists, since the year’s final grades and spring test scores help determine whether each school is in the reach, target or likely category, and therefore whether the list is balanced.  A question I’m often asked is how many schools to apply to. I used to say most students are in good shape with 6-10 colleges, but with the increases in applications over the past few years, outcomes for many colleges have become less predictable. Therefore I’m now suggesting 8-12 for my typical student. But the most important thing is that the schools on your list are a good fit academically, personally, and financially.