College Application season is right around the corner - are you using your summer vacation wisely? One of the biggest regrets that students have when they stare at the blank application is not starting sooner. Completing college applications is the equivalent of a semester long course. It is time consuming, can be overwhelming, and is often tedious. By using the last month before school starts wisely, students can help to make their fall a lot more enjoyable and much less anxiety ridden.
Here are six suggestions for making the most out of August:
- Start your college essays NOW! UCs require two personal statements and an additional comments section and the Common Application requires a 500 word personal essay and a short answer essay. By starting the essays (and ideally completing at least two) before school begins, students will be in a much better position when school begins.
- Ideally, the summer before senior year is a great time for college visits and to research schools that fit you. If you have an open day, schedule a tour. This can be local or wherever your family is vacationing. The more you visit schools, the more you are able to see and get a feel for what you like and dislike about different colleges and universities.
- Nail down your college list. While this can be challenging since there are so many great schools to choose from, the sooner you have decided on your best fit schools, the sooner you can focus on each school’s application requirements. Be sure your list is well rounded and has approx. 2-3 reach schools, 4-6 target schools, and 2-3 likely schools.
- The Common App is live as of August 1. Take a moment to register and add the schools that you have decided upon. You will be able to fill out time consuming demographic, family, extracurricular, and transcript information now. You’ll also be able to see the supplement that is unique to each school on your list and see what additional essays you will need to write for those schools.
- Complete any athletic, fine arts, or academic resumes that are needed to highlight your strengths. These can be attached to your Common App, passed out at auditions or college fairs and/or used for recruiting purposes. They take some time to create but are very helpful to have.
- Prep and register for fall SAT, ACT, and SAT Subject Tests. Do this sooner rather than later so testing spots at your local high school are still available and you are not charged late registration fees. Believe me, you will have plenty of other fees to pay in the coming months and years!