Realizing that you may be feeling inundated with opinions, instructions, demands, assessments, and requirements right about now, I synthesized this Top 5 tips list for you:
- Start early! Begin thinking about and working on applications during spring of your junior year.
- Ensure your target list of colleges gives you options. I encourage you to cover your bases in the event “things change”. You may decide on a different course of study, you may need to be closer to home than you imagined, your family’s financial picture may change.
- Start your applications by taking a step back. Think about what picture you want to present to colleges and think through what piece of the picture each element of the college application will say about you.
- Give your recommenders ample time to write your letters. The beginning of the school year is hectic for teachers and counselors and you are not the only student who is asking for recommendations.
- Find the second order insight. When writing your essays, go beyond the insight that any other student would have. Dig deeper. Consider the “college level thinking” that your essay will reveal.