Getting re-adjusted to the new school year can be both exciting and exhausting. Re-starting the school year routine is indeed rigorous work. High school seniors generally find themselves under a heavy load of pressure. First semester of senior year is the time to make decisions about life after high school. These days the college application process starts and ends quicker. With so many schools offering applicants the opportunity to apply early, perspective freshman are required to start preparing their applications as soon as possible.
The truth is that in the college application game, students who submit their applications early really do put themselves in a better position regarding admission.
For parents who are going through the application process for the first time, the task can indeed seem daunting. Sometimes knowing where to start and what to do can be confusing and stressful. While the burden of the applying certainly falls on the student seeking admission, a parent’s role in the process cannot be underscored enough.
Parents serve as the cheerleaders, and gatekeepers. As a parent, perhaps the most difficult task is learning to strike the balance between helping your teen prepare applications and fighting off the temptation to take over the process. This is especially true if your teen appears to be a bit more laid back than you would like regarding the process.
The hardest part of the application process is certainly taking that first step. The concept of going to college can feel so overwhelming to some students that the very thought of rolling up his sleeves and diving in can be difficult. In reality however, with the exception of writing the required essays, the rest of the procedure is about entering and organizing information. Technology has simplified this task. The majority of applications can be filled out online. In addition many schools now use the Common Application that allows students to apply to multiple schools by filling out one application. It is important to note that most schools using the Common Application do have additional individual sections that perspective students are required to complete.
The first step in the application process is to identify perspective schools. While the majority of college bound seniors start this process during their junior year, even late lookers can get a quick handle on what they want from their college experience. College bound seniors are often unsure about how to determine the right number of schools to which to apply. In reality, it is not the number of schools that increases a perspective student’s chances, but rather the goodness of the applicant’s fit. With so many more people applying to college these days, it is important to put a well though out list together. One important point is that the student should make sure that he includes only schools on his list at which he could see himself attending. Sometimes students choose schools just to have more options. It is important that the ‘safe schools’ (schools at which the student feels confident about acceptance) are schools he would be happy to attend. It is recommended that in addition to including one or two ‘safe’ schools, students also include a couple of ‘reach’ schools (schools to which they believe it will be harder for them to get an acceptance). The bulk of a student’s list should include schools that match the student’s credentials.
Once the list is completed, it is time to get cracking. Students should provide the list to their high school registrar in order to ensure that all school generated documentation, such as transcripts, arrive in a timely manner. Students applying to colleges that require teacher recommendations should talk with teachers as soon as school is back in session.
Organization is the one key component to ensure that the college application process goes as smoothly as possible. The bottom line is this-seniors who get a jump on the application process increase their opportunities regarding acceptance.