College-bound and Curious: What should you be doing NOW?

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There is no rest for the weary for college-bound students this spring. From high school freshmen to admitted seniors, everyone has a to-do list of college-related activities and Admit U can help students navigate the adventure.

Seniors

  • The clock is ticking toward your final decision! You will need to carefully consider all of your options before selecting the college that is right for you by May 1, National Deposit Day. To help with this decision, participate in Admitted Students Day or simply visit campuses again. After being admitted, you may see the campus through a new lens.
  • Have you been waitlisted at a college you would like to attend? Let the college know by emailing the admissions office. They want to accept those who will definitely enroll. In this email, you can also update the admissions office with any new achievements, awards, activities, etc. that were not on your original application. Stay in touch with the college to let them know that you are still interested, but be sure to meet the May 1 deposit deadline at another college you have been accepted to. 
  • Do you know any high school juniors? Take the time to offer some words of wisdom. They are about to begin the college admissions adventure and would likely appreciate your advice!
  • Now is the time to say thank you. Send a special note to those who wrote your letters of recommendation; they will be happy to hear about your success! Take a minute to also thank those who have helped you reach this milestone… even mom and dad!

Juniors

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  • If you have not already done so, schedule some campus visits. Touring a campus when class is in session is optimal and spring is a great time to see a school in full swing. When planning the visit, remember that college calendars are different from high school and the semester tends to end earlier. Also, try to see colleges that are located near each other so you can maximize your time.
  • Schedule a meeting with your high school counselor now to talk about your college list. Think about what you are looking for in a college experience. Is there a special major you are considering? Do you prefer a warm or cold climate? Are certain sports or activities important to you?
  • While meeting with your counselor, finalize your senior year course selection. Be sure to select courses that are rigorous and meet college admissions requirements. Now is not the time to catch an early case of “senioritis.”
  • This is the time to shine! Work hard in all of your classes through the last day of junior year. While all grades count, colleges will focus on these junior year grades when reviewing your application. Hopefully you have demonstrated an upward trend in grades—keep it going!
  • Attend spring college fairs to learn about many different schools. When participating in the fairs, be prepared with questions for the college representatives such as: What are the most popular majors? What makes your college unique? What factors are most important in your admissions decision? Be sure to keep an open mind while browsing the colleges. You may find that a college you have never heard of matches all of your interests.
  • If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to develop a testing plan. Consider all of the opportunities to take the SATs, ACTs, SAT Subject tests and AP tests over the next nine months. Remember that most students will take the SAT or ACT (or both) more than once to boost admissions chances.  Some colleges will help students maximize their scores by accepting their best scores from different testing dates, which is known as a student’s superscore.
  • By now you are probably enjoying a few favorite extracurricular activities. Secure a key leadership position in at least one club. This will demonstrate your commitment and showcase your communication, organizational, and leadership skills.

Sophomores

  • There is a world of extracurricular activities available to you—now is the time to get involved. From sports teams and part-time jobs to Model UN and Robotics Clubs, take advantage of the opportunities to learn outside the classroom. Colleges want to know that you are engaged in your community and exploring new passions. They want to accept students that will venture outside their dorm rooms and engage in their campus community.
  • Finalize your course selection for junior year. When reviewing your courses, be sure to take the most academically rigorous schedule that you can handle. Think about which combination of classes will both challenge you and allow you to succeed.
  • Finish sophomore year strong! Colleges look for an upward trend in grades so remain dedicated to this year’s classes until the very end.

Freshmen

  • Even though college may seem light years away, this year counts! Your freshmen year grades will be a part of the admissions process, so take these classes seriously.
  • Continue to explore different activities to find something that you are passionate about. Take advantage of clubs and volunteer organizations both within your high school and in your larger community.
  • If you have not already done so, schedule a spring meeting with your school counselor. Use this meeting to finalize your course selection for next year. Remember that most selective colleges prefer students to take the five core subjects every year (e.g. Math, English, Social Studies, Science, and World Language). Also, try to think ahead to the classes you want to take senior year and then take the necessary prerequisites. Completing all your elective requirements early in high school allows more flexibility to take classes you want later on!

As the sun melts the snow this spring, the college admissions process is heating up for all high school students. Admit U counselors are happy to help students at every stage of the process!

 

This column offers college preparation information and advice for freshman just beginning to think about college, seniors in the thick of completing applications and essays, and students who are somewhere in between.

Admit U Consulting, LLC, established in 2003, is a college planning firm that provides individualized and comprehensive services designed to help families navigate the college admissions process. As professionals in the field, Admit U counselors provide the expertise, a hands-on and individualized approach, and the knowledge of current admissions trends necessary to help students and families make informed decisions. All Admit U counselors are currently working in educational settings and also hold certificates in College Counseling. 

​Admit U focuses on helping students find the "best fit" school, while minimizing the anxiety associated with the process and maximizing the student's potential for admission.

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

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From left to right in the front row are Hannah Grady, Avery Loock, Bridget Sweeney, Noelle Grady,Georgia Lee, Grace Callahan, Parker Lee, and Caitlin Bastidas.