Soon to be High School Seniors, Here’s Your Blueprint for Admission Success and a Stress-Free Summer

May 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Admission Tips

Summer before Senior year is a crucial period in the college admissions process.  Spending your time wisely is very important.  The choices you make this summer will determine if your fall semester is a breeze or a disaster. If you have completed all of these steps, then you can relax and enjoy a peaceful summer:

  • Created a research list of 20 prospective colleges that fulfill my academic, social, and vocational needs
  • Reduced the list to the 10 colleges I will apply to
  • Have accurately categorized the 10 schools into Stretches, Targets and Safeties
  • Visited 2 of my safeties and know I can be happy attending either if I receive no other acceptances
  • Had tours at some target and reach schools
  • Had impactful interviews at my top 3 choices. I am certain the admission counselor will remember me when my application is received
  • Planned my summer with meaningful experiences that will take up at least 200 hours of time: community service, mission trips, programs abroad, college summer courses for upcoming High School Seniors, Amigos de las Americas, Jobs
  • Chosen 2 teachers to write recommendations with very specific details about my academics, extra-curriculars, character, maturity, intellectual potential and curiosity
  • Discussed with my counselor how my school performance compares with graduating peers and previous students
  • Taken the ACT and/or SAT twice and achieved the scores that fit high, mid or low in the ranges of Targets and Reaches
  • Drafted a resume that pinpoints the activities that show who I am
  • Know the topic of my main essay and have a mental image of how I will write it
  • Identified the compelling theme of my application, one that will connect my grades, standardized test scores, campus and off-campus activities, letters of recommendation and essays. The colleges that read my application will know exactly the kind of student I am and how I can contribute to their campus community
  • Set up the first semester of 12th grade with at least 4 core courses and have a plan of attack to achieve the highest grades of my high school career
  • Created a schedule that appropriately apportions time in the fall semester for course work, extra-curriculars and completing applications
  • Gathered and logged the due dates for my 10 applications so that each can be transmitted 1 month before the deadline
  • Prepared myself for the havoc and stress of the first semester


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