Get Ready for Senior Year By Staying Organized and Planning Ahead
Most rising seniors have a lot on their to-do lists in order to prepare for the college application process this fall. Students who get a jumpstart on the process before school is back in session and are often at a major advantage because they're able to make the most of senior year and keep stress at bay.
Summer break is the perfect time to do a lot of the groundwork for your college admissions journey, and with back-to-school season just around the corner there are only a couple of left weeks to get on track. Keep reading to learn more about what items you can check off of your senior year to-do list before school is even in session.
Finalize Your College List
Every college applicant needs to create a balanced list of best-fit options that are tailored to their specific interests, preferences, and goals. Take advantage of any free time you might have in the weeks leading up to senior year to finalize this list. After visiting and researching the schools you are considering, select 10-15 options that most closely align with the college experience you are envisioning. Include a selection of target, reach and likely schools in your final college list.
Start Filling Out the Common App
The Common App officially opened on August 1, so now is the perfect time to begin building your profile. In order to make this as seamless as possible, gather the documents you will need to refer to for information. This may include a copy of your high school transcript, a resume, and information about your family. Complete as much as you can before school begins, so that all you need to do later is fill in any information you are unsure about, confirm details, and triple check your work.
Draft Your Personal Statement
Since the Common App isn’t changing the personal essay prompts from the prior year, rising seniors can begin working on their essays. Review each of the prompt options, brainstorm potential topics, and pinpoint which of these ideas reveals something new about you, ideally something the admissions office wouldn’t be able to discover in any other component of your application. Once you have a topic you are passionate about, start working on a first draft that you can edit and rework.
Set Goals for the School Year
Take advantage of the new school year to reflect on your academic progress and create goals for the rest of 2019. Come up with a list of 3-5 objectives that you wish to accomplish during your senior year as well as a plan in order to achieve them. Write this list out and refer back to it throughout the year to stay motivated and accountable.
Revamp Your Social Media Presence
Your social media profiles need to be professional and polished, since some admissions officers may choose to review them. It’s important to portray your best self to an admissions office, so remove any content that detracts from the goals and passions you plan to outline throughout your application. If a picture or post gives you pause, play it safe and remove it from your account.
There are so many steps throughout the college admissions process and it’s essential to stay on top of every requirement. Use a calendar or create a document to make note of every deadline, the opening of the FAFSA, important testing dates, and any other application related events that you need to have on your radar. Add and refer back to this throughout the year.
While the beginning of senior year can feel jam-packed, it’s also an exciting opportunity for students to complete many of the major milestones in their college admissions journey. If you are currently applying to schools and looking for expert input, our team of admissions counselors can make sure you are set up for success.