As juniors end this year and start thinking about the college admissions process, pressure and tension rise. The reality of college cost hits them. Students begin to think whether they should attend an out-of-state or in-state college. Should they consider a public or private institution? Students are hopeful as well as fearful. Sometimes they are worried about living up to their parent’s expectations. The application process is a transition step toward independence.
The college application process itself causes a lot of these emotions. Students usually have to write a personal statement for the application. This seems to be difficult, since they have to ask questions of themselves. What are my values? What are my strengths? What are my dreams? How has a personal struggle affected my life? In working with students in the application process, it seems that the personal statement seems to be the thing that holds students back in the application process. My advice would be to tackle this first. When students begin the senior year, they do not have a great deal of time to devote to this. Why not get this done early and have someone review it. This should be a summer project.
Completing the application is a complicated process. It is more than answering questions about one’s self and getting recommendations together. The College Board and FastWeb have a wealth of information. Students can register with www.fastweb.com to find money for college. The Common Application also has a knowledge base to help students complete the Common Application. This will be very helpful and make the process easier for the students.
If students are organized, it will help make the application process easier. Having a virtual folder or actual folder will help students keep on track and help students meet their deadlines. Create files for targeted institutions so that everything is turned in on time. This file should include application requirements, transcripts, test scores, application deadlines, etc.
An informational meeting will be held on June 8h at 6:00 P.M. in the cafeteria which will cover the different aspects of the college application process. Students will be receiving a folder on Friday, May 13th with important information. Parents will learn what their students need to do if they are denied, deferred, how to track their application, and much more. Students and parents should remember that we in the guidance office are here to help them. We have an obligation to help them and we have the resources to do that. We are ready to give our support and advice in this process.