Things You Can Do This Summer

Get an Upper Hand On College Admissions

COME UP WITH A GREAT COLLEGE LIST

Deciding where to apply to college is the first, most important action you should take this summer. Where do you get information to figure out if colleges fit you? There are many excellent resources, including:


MAKE CONTACT WITH SCHOOLS ON YOUR LIST

"Demonstrated interest" is a term used by colleges to note the quantity and quality of contact students have with admissions offices that indicate students' likelihood to enroll if offered admission. This summer is a perfect time for you to begin making contacts. Here are some ways how:


  • Go to colleges' websites and sign up to be on their admissions mailing list. You can do this via Naviance Family Connection.
  • Call respective college admissions offices, find out who the admissions representatives assigned to your high school are (and their email addresses) and send emails letting them know of your interest in their schools.
  • Visit colleges and see about getting personal interviews at the different admissions offices.
  • Visit colleges virtually, see images below, before you travel.

GET A HEAD-START ON COLLEGE APPLICATIONS, ESPECIALLY THE ESSAY QUESTIONS

Every year, I suggest that students complete at least one application essay before school starts. By doing this, you can get a real jumpstart on the admissions process. Everything else will then fall into place.


For public colleges and universities, each will have their own essay prompts, although some schools don't have any essay questions. So that you won't have to go on a hunting expedition for essay prompts, below are the questions for The Common Application. The instructions are to write an essay of no more than 650 words (no less than 250 words) on one of five questions.


A. Personal Statement

1. Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

2. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?

3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

4. Describe a place or an environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?

5. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood without your culture, community or family.

B. Additional Information Write about relevant circumstances or qualifications not reflected elsewhere in the application in no more than 650 words (no minimum limit).