College Application Organizing Tips for Tackling Senior Year
Nov02

College Application Organizing Tips for Tackling Senior Year

by Leslie Josel, Principal, Order out of Chaos When you are a senior your time is managed pretty well—by everyone else!  Here are some great tips for staying organized during your senior year. Use an academic planner. Whether you use a paper planner or electronic calendar set it up as a grid system so you see your week at a glance.  Record all your college visits, activities, assignments and application due dates.  Include a row in the planner for “College” so that you can plan your essay writing, SAT studying, etc. Set achievable goals. You’re more likely to complete your tasks if they are broken down into manageable parts. It’s much easier to write one paragraph for your essay in an afternoon than it is to complete the entire Common Application. Check your planner for available pockets of time and schedule accordingly. Set up a special organizing system especially for your college search. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the college paper work that takes over your life.  Use a rolling file cart, milk crate or desk top system so it is easily accessible and visual. Create a file for each school so you can easily drop in any brochures, supplements, etc. specific to each school. Check it off. Staple a checklist for each college with name of school, application due dates, requirements for references, essays, portfolio, financial aid, etc. to the front of each folder. Transfer all important dates to your master calendar or planner so you stay on track. Organize your college visits.  My daughter, Madelyn, a college freshman, offers this advice.  “Create an evaluation sheet to use as a “brain dump” after each visit.  It will help you differentiate the information you receive from each info session and campus tour.  It also helped to organize my notes so they would be useable when writing my supplemental essays.”  And bring a notebook and the school’s file folder.  Place any handouts that you receive directly into your folder so that nothing gets lost between the visit and home. You can easily transfer the folder back into the file cabinet when you get home. Parents – Want more tips? Don’t miss the Parent College Coach Tips...

Read More
Fall Campus Visits: What you need to know
Sep14

Fall Campus Visits: What you need to know

Z. Kelly Queijo Ah, Fall! It's a beautiful time of year to visit a college campus. Scenic drives and crisp morning air lead to brisk walks around campus where anticipation of life as a college student co-mingles with the energy of an already active student body. It's a fine time to visit colleges. And, to get the most from your visit, it only takes a little advance planning. Weekday Visits Most colleges offer campus tours and information sessions on weekdays, when classes are in session. Holidays may be exceptions, so always check with the college to make sure the adissions office will be open and find out if there any changes to the tour schedule that day. Advance registration may or may not be required. Fall Open House/ Fall Preview Days In addition to weekday visits, many colleges will host open houses or preview days on select weekends. The advantage of a weekend program is that students and parents may not have to miss school or work for a campus visit. Another advantage is that the open houses are structured programs with agendas that typically include sessions on academics, college life, and financial aid in addition to the tradtional campus tour. And, you will likely have a chance to meet with current students and ask them questions. Advance registration is usually required.  Visit a Classroom / Meet with a Professor Adding a meeting with a prof or wanting to sit in on a lecture requires advance planning. Two weeks prior to your visit is usually enough time to schedule this. Contact the admissions office to make arrangements. An alternative is to search YouTube for the name of the professor or class at the college/university that interests you. At the very least, you'll have some knowledge about the professor or class before you visit.   Visit Virtually Exploring online campus tours, college tour videos and mobile campus guides are all great ways to learn about a school prior to your on-site visit. They don't cost anything and you don't have to leave home to "visit." A virtual visit a terrific supplement to the in-person visit, and can give a sense of familiarity before you set off to experience the real thing.  Campus Visit Planning Tips Create a special email address that you will use just for your college search. This way, your incoming mailbox only contains information from colleges.  Share the password with your parents so confirmations, updates, and deadlines don't get missed.  Wear comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate shoes. You will tour campus by foot even if it rains, so be prepared for both comfort and weather.  Plan your questions in...

Read More