July College Readiness Tips for Rising High School Seniors
Please use July to jumpstart your college application process. Many applications will open August 1, so follow these five key tips to make the most of this summer and get ready for the exciting fall college application season.
- Prep for college applications. Many applications are already up while the majority will open August 1. Try to fill out as many of them before school starts as possible. So right now, you can
- prepare to make accounts ands set up a system for saving user names and passwords.
- get started with collecting information for the applications, including your educational history, family education and professional information along with key school counselor information.
- check your most recent transcript(s) for accuracy.
- complete school brag sheets.
- Finalize your resume(s). Every senior needs a resume. The resume helps you fill out college applications, find key fall internships, and go on college interviews. During interviews, you can give the resume to your interviewer, who most likely will not have seen your application and also give yourself reminders of what you have done. (Remember, colleges are looking for actively engaged students, so perhaps you can find one more internship or activity to do this summer). You can also prepare resumes for your artistic or athletic specialities.
- Start working on your application essays. Now is the perfect time to get started on your Common Application long essay or long essays for your state colleges or other applications. Look at our tips for brainstorming and writing essays on http://www.allcollegeessays.org and on slideshare http://www.slideshare.net/getmetocollege/. Remember, great application essays take many drafts to share your unique stories, and no work is ever wasted as you can use essays in different places.
- Refine your college lists. As you learn your AP and other test results, refine your college lists. Try to make sure you truly have a balanced list, while only having colleges you would attend on it. Use Naviance and other resources to help you find colleges that match your academic and extracurricular interests.
- Book late summer to early fall college visits and interviews. Many colleges offer on and off campus interviews this summer and fall. USC will open its interviews in July and slots will fill. Check with other colleges on your list and book interviews along with fall campus visits.
- Visiting colleges while they are in session is key. Also anyone planning to apply Early Decision should try to visit that campus this fall—spend the night in the dorms, attend classes, meet with coaches, directors, and others. Look at your fall schedule and book some key visits.
- If you can’t visit colleges in person, check out their visit schedules to your city this fall and go to college fairs. Online resources are also fantastic. Check out our tips for visiting colleges for free. http://wacac.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/demonstrating-their-interest-strategies-for-students-to-learn-about-colleges-on-a-budget/.
- Many colleges offer free trips to diverse rising seniors. Check our list on http://getmetocollege.org//2015-free-diversity-college-visits
I hope these tips are useful. Please let us know what else we can do to help you prepare for your senior year.