While it’s not quite application season, the school year is winding down (and it’s even over for some).
Juniors, you’re officially rising seniors.
Which means that this scary admissions stuff is finally real.
I’m going to come out with the official 2014 Junior/Senior timelines in a few weeks. But for now… Let’s go into what you seniors-to-be need to be looking into finishing this summer.
1. Make a short-list
You can keep adding schools up until the end of the admissions process, so you don’t need to have your final list ready to go at this point.
However, by the end of the summer, you should have at least 5 schools (1 safety, 1 low match, 2 true matches, 1 extra) on your list that you’re sure you’re going to apply to. Make an effort to tour the ones that are possible to tour, and keep doing research. Start working on these core applications as soon as you can, so you don’t have to worry about them once the year starts.
2. Decide on essays
You have several choices on which commonapp essay you’re going to write. Which can be a bit daunting. You’ll want to have a decent draft done before the school year starts, and the first step of that is deciding which essay you’re even going to write.
I’ll talk about choosing a topic more in the coming weeks, but HERE are the posts I wrote breaking down the 5 essays last year.
3. Schedule interviews and tours
While obviously we don’t all have the resources to tour every school, chances are a few are within a few hours driving distance, making the possibility of a tour very likely.
Figure out days or weekends you (and your parent/guardian) are free to tour, and make an effort to go see at least a few schools.
If you’re the interview type, see if you can squeeze in an interview while you’re there. It’s a great way to express interest, and it can be a plus on your application.
4. Solidify Recs
If you haven’t asked your teachers for recs, stop reading and do it now.
5. Make a commonapp account
August 1st, be ready.
6. “Twitter” Your Resume
The resume on commonapp kind of… sucks. It’s brief, to say the least.
You don’t want to be stressing about it in August, so be prepared in advance. Narrow down your top 10 activities, and “twitter” them. As in, write 140 characters of the highlights of the activity.
If you do it now, it’ll be a breeze by the time the commonapp opens.
7. Talk about finances
This is a rough one, but start talking to your parents about what their expectations for you, financially, are when it comes to college. It’s a really rough conversation to have, but it’s better to know now rather than when you have to turn down your dream school because you just can’t afford it. Check out the calculators for every school, and know that student debt sucks. Know this as far in advance as possible, it’ll help you make a great list.