It’s Go Time.


This one goes out to all the juniors out there. 

I can feel you squirming in your seats, “Who me?” Yes, you!  The time has come to turn that college dial up a notch.  “But I still have so much time left!”  But you really don’t.  Ideally in a year from now you’ll be sifting through acceptance letters and weighing college options before making a final decision.  That’s just one year.  Twelve months.  We have a lot of work to do.

If you’re like 99% of juniors you aware that college exists and you are relatively sure that’ll be your next move after high school.  And that’s probably it.  While totally normal you can see the discrepancy between where you are and where we need to get you by January 2018.  Let’s make a to-do list so we can stay on track and conquer this college thing!

Sign Up for E-News

Now-March: Preliminary College Searching.  Get on that computer and start sifting through the thousands of colleges out there.  I don’t care if you use College Board’s search tool, Naviance, or a free website, any kind of college searching is good college searching.  Start looking at the factors these sites will ask you about and try to decide how you feel about them.  Do you want to be in a city or the country?  Big or small school?  Public or private? Major?  Do some of this basic exploration but please don’t count out any options at this point.  The objective is to start having some of these conversations with your family and have an idea what you’re looking for.

March-June: College Fairs and Visits.  This is prime time to see some schools and ask some questions. It’s also the time of year that many college fairs aimed specifically at juniors are hosted in this area.  Give me a call if you need a list of fairs or need help registering.  When planning college visits take a look on college websites to see if they’re having an open house (they probably are) and try to visit before classes let out in early May so you can really get a feel for how the campus looks when it’s humming.

July:  Narrow it Down.  You should now have all the information you need to formulate a final college list.  There’s way too much that goes into that process to talk about now, but just keep this target in mind.  Also, get that college essay polished and ready to go so you can…

August: Apply!  The Common Application as well as many college-specific applications go live around August 1st.  How cool would it be if you could start senior year with all your applications submitted and done?  You could be the cool kid to come to school with the first college acceptance letter and panic all your frenemies! 

All that will set you up to sit back and watch the letters roll in next fall and bring you around to next January when you’re sifting through those letters and starting to make the hard cuts.

Even though you might not be as motivated to start this early it is totally worth it in the long run.  Just ask some friends who are seniors who weren’t on top of it.  They might be dealing with the panic of having applied to the wrong schools or trying to beat the buzzer on deadlines.  Maybe they haven’t even visited some of the colleges on their list and are just keeping their fingers crossed things will work out.

Friends don’t let friends apply to college unprepared.  My friend, I want this to be as stress free as possible…So what are you waiting for?!

Admissions Abridged distills news and trends from the college admissions world to provide college-bound students and their families with helpful tools to approach the application process.

Kate Balboni has earned a Master’s in School Counseling and is a certified New Jersey School Counselor.  She has served as an admissions counselor for Drew University and as a regional admissions coordinator at the University of South Carolina.  During her time in Undergraduate Admissions she has reviewed thousands of applications and student essays, conducted hundreds of student interviews, and has visited over 50 college campuses throughout the nation.  Kate is the owner of Balboni College Advising, a concierge college consulting service, providing one-on-one guidance and counseling throughout the college application process.  For more information please visit

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Sleep out at Covenant House

June 18, 2018

I can enjoy the same movies over and over like it were the first time to see them.  My kids roll their eyes at this.  Well, many unimaginable things happen as you become a certain age, and you tend to learn to accept those things graciously as gift.   But I remember the movie “The Blind Side.”  Until I saw that movie, I didn’t know homeless children ...

Very special "Annie, Jr." coming June 29-July 1 at Rahway High School

June 18, 2018

The CAU Community Players will be staging a very special production of "Annie, Jr." at the Rahway High School Center for Performing Arts on Friday, June 29, and Saturday, June 30, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 1, at 2:00 p.m.

The CAU Community Players is a troupe of actors both with and without developmental disabilities. Formed in 2012, the troupe empowers members with disabilities ...

Kessler Foundation Seeks Volunteers with Spinal Cord Injury for New Study!

Kessler Foundation is a research center in West Orange, NJ that specializes in disability research. We are currently seeking individuals with spinal cord injury to participate in a new research study:

Dr. John O'Neill, principal investigator in Spinal Cord Injury research seeks volunteers for a spinal cord injury study. The purpose of this study is to identify ways of enhancing the ...

Horse Care Workshops at Lord Stirling Start June 23

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. — Somerset County Park Commission Lord Stirling Stable is offering Horse Care Workshop 101 for adults and youth seeking to gain experience and confidence around horses through a combination of non-riding activities and hands-on practice.

Horse Care Workshop 101 will be held at Lord Stirling Stable, 256 South Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge, NJ beginning Saturday June ...

Dine at Chipotle in New Providence, June 18, in Support of Covenant House

Support Covenant House by making dinner a selfless act and support a fundraiser that supports Covenant House. Come in to Chipotle at 1260 Springfield Ave. in New Providence on Monday June 18 between 4 and 8 p.m. Click here to print flyer, or show it on your smartphone or tell the cashier you're supporting the cause for 50 percent of proceeds to be donated to Covenant House.

About: ...

Watchung Borough Mayor and Council Approve Affordable Housing Settlement

June 9, 2018

WATCHUNG, NJ -The Watchung Borough Council voted on Thursday night  to settle its third round affordable housing obligation mandated by the state of New Jersey. Watchung Borough’s immunity from builder's remedy lawsuits  expires on June 30.

 Mayor Stephen Pote was forced to cast the deciding vote after the council deadlocked at 3-3.

Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith Attends Gun Safety Bills Signing Ceremony with Gov. Murphy in Trenton

June 14, 2018

TRENTON, NJ -- Mayor Al Smith attended a gun safety package bill signing ceremony at the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton on Wednesday with Governor Phil Murphy. Mayor Smith joined a bipartisan group of local and state elected officials, as well as members of Moms Demand Action of Union County, at the event. 

“As a leader in Sandy Hook Promise, I was happy to accept the ...

Union County Freeholders Support LGBTQ Community with Historical Pride Flag Raising Ceremony

June 4, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - The rainbow flag, a symbol of pride and independence fly’s high at the Union County Courthouse in recognition of June as LGBTQ Pride Month. 

This historic event by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and the Office of LGBTQ Services, Department of Human Services and many others, brought dignitaries and people from all over New Jersey to the steps of the ...

Upcoming Events


Mon, June 18, 4:00 PM

Chipotle, New Providence

Dine at Chipotle in New Providence June 18 in ...

Food & Drink Giving Back

Wed, June 20, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

The Masterwork Chorus Launches 19th Summer Sing ...

Arts & Entertainment


Mon, June 25

Summit YMCA, Summit

June 2018 College Tour


Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM


Kids' Critter Camp


Berkeley Heights Here and Now: May Edition

Berkeley Heights Here and Now

How to Design Your Ideal Retirement

Would you like to design your ideal retirement? Where do you begin? First of all, what does retirement mean to you? If you’re in a relationship, does retirement mean the same to you as it does to your partner? Do you know if your “ideal retirement” is affordable or just a pipe dream?

In past generations, retirement planning didn’t involve very much. You stopped work ...