Summer vacation is right around the corner and school will become a fleeting memory as visions of beaches, swimming pools, and gaming take over your teenager’s brain. If you have a rising high school senior, here’s what your child could be doing this summer…working on their college applications. Sounds crazy, right? Think about it. Now picture this, Labor Day has arrived, which for most signals the start of the new school year and will be the beginning of your child’s senior year. Most seniors have a challenging course load filled with AP and honors classes, play a fall sport, are a member of a club, and/or hold a part-time job. Once September is here, when will there be time to complete college applications? As your child is writing their college essay at midnight, after completing their homework, how good will their essay be? How many times will you have to remind them to write their essay and ask them if they have completed their college applications? Now factor this into the equation…getting into college has become increasingly competitive. Is your head spinning yet? Is working on college applications this summer starting to sound more appealing? If so, read on to learn how to use this summer to catapult your rising senior ahead of the college application process!
Now is a great time to look over their college list. As social distancing restrictions are being lifted and businesses are opening up again, make plans to drive through college campuses and take self guided tours. While experiencing colleges first hand is preferred, looking at colleges online can also be helpful. Take advantage of tools like You Visit and eCampus tours to take virtual tours of colleges you are not able to visit.
Check college websites for updates on admission requirements. Will the college be test optional as a result of COVID 19? Does the college require interviews? If so, schedule an interview via Zoom when possible. Also look to see if colleges have posted Fall Open Houses yet. If they are not virtual, consider signing up and booking hotel rooms if you plan to attend. Hotels typically fill up fast on event weekends!
So, what else should your child do right now? Before the school year ends, they should check in with their guidance counselor and share their college list. Their guidance counselor will let them know if there are any items they need such as a list of your child’s activities or a “Parent Brag Sheet” from you. Now is also the time to do a final check regarding graduation requirements to ensure at this time next year they will have a diploma in hand!