Tag Archives: high school seniors

Fall Checklist for High School Seniors

Fall checklist for high school seniorsMost high school students and their parents know the fall of senior year is the busiest time in high school. There’s no getting around that. You’ll need to juggle your classes and extra curricular activities with all the tasks necessary for putting together successful college applications.

But the College Strategist is here to reassure you: you can make it so much smoother, if you get organized. An hour or two of careful planning with your parents now will make a big difference in the months ahead. Here’s a basic checklist for high school seniors that will keep you on track through December–and help minimize the stress as well.

Plan your course load wisely

Make sure you’re on track to complete all the required credits before graduation. But don’t just sign up for the minimum. Challenge yourself by taking classes that stretch your mind. That said, don’t take on more than you can handle. You’ll have a busy semester, so be realistic.

Register for the required tests

If you still need to take the SAT or ACT test, register now. Then start preparing. Also, find out whether any of the colleges you’ll be applying to require the SAT 2 subject tests. If so, you’ll need to register and prep for them.

Set up your application calendar

Create a calendar that includes every important date in your college application process. Don’t forget to include tests, interviews and application deadlines. This will be your most important tool for keeping yourself on-track. If you’re using an electronic calendar, be sure to set those pop-up alarms!

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College Admissions Advice from Triumphant Seniors

College admissions advice from triumphant seniorsThis season I asked three of my graduating seniors what they learned during the college admissions process. Do they have any sage advice to pass on to juniors, sophomores or even freshmen?

Yes, it turns out, they do. But each one reached a different conclusion, which I might have predicted, based on how very different and wonderfully unique these kids are.

Here, then, are the words of wisdom from three triumphant seniors, each headed to a highly-selective, top-flight college or university. Take from their experiences what you will.

Philip: Targeted writing can really make an essay stand out

On the subject of those famously challenging college essays, Philip, who’s headed to Columbia in the fall, said, “It’s important to edit and re-edit your essays. I went through multiple drafts but found that perseverance, attention to detail and targeted writing can really make a piece stand out in the admissions process.”

Well said, Philip, and very true. Targeting is one of the keys to a successful college application package, and a well-focused essay is an essential part of it. (Note to the uninitiated: to avoid panic, you should complete your personal college essay before September of senior year.)

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