Fall Timeline for High School Students and Parents : Grades 9-12

Fall Timeline for High School Students and Parents : Grades 9-12 

12th

Please review this with your child and adjust it appropriately for their learning style.

  • The Common Application “rolls over” and can be submitted as early as August 1.

  • Start the Coalition Application, if necessary.

  • Revise personal statement and supplemental essays.

  • Register for interviews, if applicable.

  • Ask summer employers or mentors for an additional recommendation, if applicable.

  • Continue with standardized test prep, if necessary.

  • Take standardized test, if applicable.

Parents

  • Review (but do not revise) your student’s essay(s) and share feedback.



11th

Please review this with your...

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Parents and high school students always ask us how important are the ACTs and SATs?

My answer....VERY!!!! Colleges rarely admit this in public. That's not to say that a super high score is necessary, but it's more than likely that your child will need to take it. Your son or daughter should be willing to give up a few Saturday mornings as a small sacrifice to make their future great. 

How many times should he/she take the test?
The standard answer is at least twice. 

When should they start taking the tests?
Increasingly, I am recommending that students take a diagnostic ACT and SAT at the end of sophomore year (June) or at the beginning of junior year (August). 

What score should my kid aim for?
Your child needs to do the best they can do. They need to prepare with...

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3 Important Actions Every High School Senior Must Take Now

The key to college interviews is preparation. There are two types generally -- an on-campus interview or one with an alumnus in your local area. It is always important that your child share their best self, ask questions and share their thoughts and concerns about the step in their educational journey. 

Senior year is here! Now is the time to applaud your kid’s junior year efforts and really start to engage them on their college list, essays and application strategies.

Ok, but how?

By now, they should have started their Common Application, right?!!! No? Please have them start now. https://www.commonapp.org/ It’s nice to get a jump on this and not wait until school starts when life...

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How Your Teen Can Shine in a College Interview

The key to college interviews is preparation. There are two types generally -- an on-campus interview or one with an alumnus in your local area. It is always important that your child share their best self, ask questions and share their thoughts and concerns about the step in their educational journey. 

College interviews can be very nerve-wracking. Many students assume that a decision will be made based upon what happens in this one-on-one session. In truth, unless a student totally blows it -- like slapping the interviewer or using profane language in describing a school they love -- interviews are much more information-gathering opportunities. Yes, colleges may be interviewing, but are also...

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3 Tips to Get Your Teen Going with Their College Applications

If your kid is self-motivated and reading all the instructions on how to complete their applications and essays, consider yourself blessed. It takes mental strength and stamina to decipher all that needs to be done for the college process and execute it at a high level. For the rest of us, we need help. Tips to figure out how best to help our kids to help themselves.

Here are three to start. 

 

#1: Carve out time for them

Discuss exactly when they’re going to work on their applications and essays and make it non-negotiable. I think an hour or two three days a week during the month of August is solid. 

 

#2: Help them with their Common Application

Actually sit down and...

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Why the College Essay is So Important

Do you understand the power of literally grabbing the attention of an admissions reader? On average, an admissions officer may spend 4-7 minutes reading your child’s application.

Yikes!

Hence why the personal essay as well as the supplemental essays are so critical.

Any good parent lives to help their child to succeed, and in this college application season, you may need to help your child to brainstorm a topic. Their creative juices need to start churning and you may be able to help them. Trust me, opening lines matter

Here are some of my favorite opening lines from our kids in the past:

“Getting kicked in the mouth is not fun.  Especially when receiving the kick from a...

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Is your child ready to start their college essay? (Part 4)

PARENTS!!!! READ THIS WITH YOUR RISING SENIOR!!!!

Use the rules below and you’re on your way!!!!

 

Develop the essay into three parts:

Introduction: One paragraph that introduces your essay.  Start with a catchy first sentence. If it grabs the reader’s attention, he or she will be encouraged to read on. You might use a meaningful quote or start with a rhetorical question that fits your situation.  You might open with a detailed description of the setting of an important experience you've had so that readers feel they were really there.  You might start with a mystery that will be revealed later in the essay or double-entendre.  If you are experiencing...

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Is your child ready to start their college essay? (Part 3)

PARENTS!!!! READ THIS WITH YOUR RISING SENIOR!!!!

Use the rules below and you’re on your way!!!!

  1. Start Early

Starting early buys you the luxury of revising and rewriting the essay. You can write it, put it away for a few days, then take a fresh look at it later. Walking away and then coming back brings a fresh perspective to the work -- without the pressure and stress that comes with a time crunch. 

  1. Brainstorm.

Starting the essay can be the hardest part.  Brainstorming about your personality traits and defining your strengths is a good place to begin.  Your goal is to reflect about who you are as a person.  Don’t think of it as bragging.  Think about it...

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Is your child ready to start their college essay? (Part 2)

PARENTS!!!! READ THIS WITH YOUR RISING SENIOR!!!!

Use the rules below and you’re on your way!!!!

Be specific.  Keep your focus narrow and personal by figuring out how the question relates to your personal qualities and then taking a specific angle. Make sure everything you write supports that viewpoint. But don’t adopt a preachy tone. College admission officers don’t want to be lectured on rainforest destruction. Instead, tell them how you became interested in environmentalism.

Use the active voice. This is a challenge for all writers. As a matter of style, writing in an active voice energizes an essay. Avoid the passive voice. Word processing programs often provide assistance...

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3 Keys to Writing an Awesome College Essay (Part 1)

I have been teaching essay writing for twenty years and before I get too deep, I want you and your child to know the basics first. The personal statement should reveal something important about them that their grades and test scores cannot. Try to help your child to answer these two essential questions:

#1: Who are you? 

#2: What’s important to you? 

This is not easy and it’s not necessarily fun. Teenagers struggle with identity and sharing parts of their lives. They need help. 

PLEASE share the blog below with our child. It’s written to them. 

STEP 1: Be yourself.  You are 1 of 1. Write in your own voice.  Write what you feel, not what you think the...

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