Summer is a great time to prepare and start writing your college essay! Remember, this essay is different from a high school English paper. Here are three tips to get you started if you haven’t already.
Tip #1: Colleges are expecting to read essays that reflect your unique personality and experiences.
Your college essay should reflect your values and should be written in the first person. The best essays dive deep into one item of interest or a life event to answer a prompt provided by the college, common app, or your state application. Cramming this experience into no more than 750 words can be a challenge, but you can do it with some preparation and time for editing.
Tip #2: Colleges require an essay to help find those unique candidates that the information on the application cannot see.
They also use the essay as a writing sample to ensure that you are ready for college work. Don’t kid yourself – there will be a lot of writing in college, but luckily with tools like Grammarly, spell check, and a visit to the campus Writing Center, you will be prepared.
Tip #3: Don’t procrastinate!
It isn’t too late to start your essay! Structure and personalization are key to a good college essay. If you haven’t started and need some help, please reach out to me, your school counselor, or another trusted source.
Seniors, it’s time to think about finalizing your list and submitting applications! On August 1, the Common App will open and you can start this one-stop-shop application process which allows you to send your application to all the colleges on your list that accept the Common Application. So, one application and one essay topic! Keep in mind though that some colleges do require supplemental essays, so you may have a little more to do later.
When colleges closed their doors to in-person visits due to COVID-19, it was a bit difficult for students and parents to get a first-hand look to help make college decisions. The next best thing can be virtual tours. You can also watch YouTube videos featuring current students or attend college fairs, online or in-person, to explore which options may be the right fit for you. It can also be helpful to reach out to admission counselors to schedule a one-on-one virtual meeting. Some, like Abilene Christian University, are scheduling those calls with students and parents. Take advantage of those opportunities.
It can feel like there are tons of things to think about when researching colleges. We’ve broken down the top 5 things to help you get started and feel less overwhelmed.
Top 5 List to Consider when Finalizing your College List
- College is what you make of it. Decide for yourself what is essential and what isn’t.
- Focus on what you want to do in college rather than where you want to go.* Many schools offer an excellent education. Your goal is to think about what skills you want to acquire while in college to make you marketable when you leave.
- Think about the cost of college when you are finalizing your list. The less debt you incur will impact you after you graduate.
- Balance your list. Broaden your search. Don’t get fixated on one or two schools or only schools your friends want to attend. What is your long-term goal? What story do you want to tell in 10 years?
- Trust yourself to make the right decision. You have done the work to narrow down the list, now it’s time to get to work and put your best self forward when applying to each school.
Need help finalizing your list? We are here to help you navigate this process! Contact us today.
Another school year is almost over, and what a year it was! Kudos to all the teachers and school administrators who put their best foot forward, pivoted to new classroom technology and met many challenges head-on. And congratulations to the students and parents who also did their best to keep up with the changing landscape of online classes, hybrid classes, or in-person classes following strict safety guidelines. Yes, it has been challenging, but it’s almost summer, and you can relax. Not so fast, juniors! While you can take time to go to the pool and visit with friends in a more open environment, there is still work to do if you plan to attend college after you graduate. Here are a few summer tips to keep you on track.
Summer Tip #1: Prepare a brag sheet and give it to your teachers to get a head start on writing your letter of recommendation.
Summer Tip #2: Start preparing to write your personal statements and application essays this summer!
Summer Tip #3 Shows demonstrated interest. Reach out to colleges on your list. Talk to an admission counselor. Take a tour of the campus. Or view the college through virtual tours.
Summer Tip #4 Register to take the ACT/SAT. While most schools are test-optional, and ACT/SAT score is still helpful for scholarships.
Summer Tip #5 Look for a job or internship this summer in a field that aligns with an interested major.
Summer Tip #6 Sign up for volunteer hours to complete over the summer
Summer Tip #7 Prepare a resume to attach to your college application.
Summer Tip #8 ApplyTexas and the Common app open on August 1, 2021. You can create your account now.
If you need assistance staying on track this summer, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.