Admission tips

The application process can be daunting.  I thought that once everything is organized, all would flow smoothly.  It has to be remembered, though, that your student’s life does not stop in order to fulfill all of the requirements for the application process!   She will still be taking a full load of high school courses, will still be involved in school activities.  There are still, only 24 hours in one day!  And remember, your student will be applying to more than one school. In my daughter’s case there was her one dream school and four others that would be the back-ups. This IS time-consuming even with all of the organizational steps that you have taken so far.

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Your student should have a resume completed by the beginning of the senior year.  Great programs are available to help with this, and I would suggest investing in one.  It can be amazing for your student to see professional results using information from her life!

Is it ever TOO early to start planning the college essay?! With the availability of many applications, your student and you will be able to see the kinds of questions from which students can choose.  Sometimes, though, there may be just one choice.  In order for the essay to “reflect” your student in the best light, it needs to represent your student and also be error-free.  Beginning to think about topics will be helpful when the essay needs to be done.  It is recommended that your student actually write several essays and then choose the one that seems best after further thought.  You might also consider the services offered through web sites such as the following. EssayEdge: Free Admissions Essay Help Course


Piles of info will begin arriving during your student’s junior year in high school.  Have one bin to put ALL the material in.  Over the next months, have the student pull out “possibilities” and put this information into another bin. Throwing away any information at this point is discouraged because there will be so many unanticipated questions which will pop up, and being able to go into the bin to find the information will be much quicker than starting from scratch.


Become acquainted with the requirements of the schools that are in the Possibities Bin. Visit their web sites for information and also for a “feel” of the school. College web sites offer such a great way to familiarize yourself with the school.  I was so grateful that computers and the Internet were available when my daughter was going through this process.  You can get so many answers to your questions quickly and during your own time frame.  You  do not have to worry about rushing to the phone during your work hours.  You can be at home in your robe and do the perusing of the information.


Visit the web sites of schools in the Possibilities Bin to compare the admission requirements of the schools with your student’s profile. Then, visit USNews and do a search of the schools.  Print out their comparison list so that you can refer to the information.  This web site is fantastic for finding the facts and figures that may not be presented on the web site of each college. Plan on spending a lot of time here.


If your student knows what fields she will be pursuing, check out the school’s offerings in those areas.  My daughter wanted a school that offered majors in theater arts and computer science.  This requirement precluded some schools.


As some of the schools in the Possibities Bin become favorites, pull that information and place it in a third bin labelled The Chosen.  Put each of these school’s information in a separate pocket folder.  On the top of the folder, place the name of the school and what is needed for the application process. When you reach the point of submitting applications, put the date next to each item to show yourself that you have completed it. Remember that an application fee will be due with each application, so this step can add up to hundreds of dollars!


Janet Horton