Get a Jumpstart on College Admissions with These 13 Tips
By Elizabeth Venturini, College Career Strategist
Every summer, Moms and Dads try cramming three years of college-prep work into three months, creating unnecessary stress on themselves with college selections/visits, SAT/ACT testing, financial aid forms and applications. Here are 13 tips to help you and your teen get a jumpstart on the college admissions process before going back to school in the fall:
Pre-Application – Do the Research
- Provide your teen with an interests assessment to help clarify their interests toward a marketable college major.
- Research colleges based on academic, cultural, social for your teen and financial fit for you.
- Build a list of 20 colleges with the programs to support your teen’s chosen college major; any one of which your teen will be happy to attend.
- Create with your teen their resume of accomplishments for use on applications.
- Make sure your teen has signed up for student accounts on the CSU, UC, The Common App, private schools, and CollegeBoard websites.
The Application – Up and Running
- Begin gathering all information for application completion, verify all parent, student and school information.
- Start working with an essay specialist to help your teen brainstorm essay subjects, provide insight, and keep track of all essay submissions.
- Help your teen identify and politely ask two teachers for college recommendations and provide them with your teen’s accomplishments and list of desired schools.
Testing - One, Two, Three
- Prep for PSAT/SAT/Subject Tests/ACT tests and test dates so your teen is not overwhelmed with studying for tests and keeping up with school work.
- Work with test prep professionals who can show your teen how to study and provide test prep guidance so your teen doesn’t underperform on test day.
Financial Aid - Before You Write the check
- Calculate your Estimated Family Contribution number to estimate how much financial aid you will money you will receive and need.
- Check all financial aid deadlines for submitting the FAFSA and CSS profile to state schools and highly selective schools.
- Look for outside scholarships now, check requirements, and create a calendar to keep your teen on track with submissions.
And finally . . .
Print out copies of all documents and check, check, and double check, all applications before your teen selects the SUBMIT button.