Seniors, you're almost done. There are just a few things you need to be aware of over the summer in order to insure the transition to campus goes smoothly. Here's one last checklist for you:
Mark Moody, Co-Director of College Counseling at Colorado Academy, joins us again today with some fantastic guidance on the college essay. There is so much good stuff here, we don't even know where to begin to describe how helpful this will be to rising seniors as they begin their essays -- hopefully this summer. Moody's vivid explanations of "Show, Don't Tell," the concept of framing and the essay's first words are worth their weight in Common App gold. All we can say is, "Enjoy..."
Many thousands of young people take on the writing challenge of the college essay each year, making 500 to 650-word personal narrative one of the most popular forms of writing in America. Yet most of the authors of the form have never done it before, and most won’t do it again.
Fall of senior year is a busy time. So we strongly urge you to have at least your Common Application essay in good shape before senior year begins because writing the essays while attending school is like adding a class to your schedule -- remember, in addition to the Common App's, there are those in the supplements. Summer provides the luxury of uninterrupted time to reflect and write. And you're fortunate that the Common App essay prompts will remain the same, so you don't have to wait until August 1st to start working on them.
So here's some advice to kick start your essays over the coming summer months -- from a suggested reading list that we hope will inspire to some excellent step-by-step guidance on those Common App essay prompts.
As we head off into the summer, we asked our experts what rising seniors should be doing this summer. As usual, they've got some great advice about how to rest, recharge, and prepare for a couple of steps in the college application process so you'll hit the ground running -- and avoid feeling overwhelmed -- in the fall. And don't forget, two of the most important and best things you can do this summer are rest and read, read, read... Nothing will prepare you better for senior year. Enjoy all of it!
Mai Lien Nguyen
College and Career Center Coordinator
Mountain View High School
Mountain View, CA
“Having fun” and “preparing for college applications” aren’t phrases you normally hear in the same breath. But the summer before senior year could be the golden opportunity to make this happen. Let’s see how:
Located just north of the affluent town that is home to Stanford University, East Palo Alto has had a history of crime and violence and Silicon Valley's boom economy has largely bypassed the community and the families of the Latino, African American and Pacific Islander students who reside there. Today, the dropout rate for students from East Palo Alto is 65%.
In 1991, a Stanford student started an after-school basketball program for East Palo Alto kids in grades 4 through 8, linking participation with attendance at a daily study hall. But he soon realized it wasn't enough for these students, who, after eighth grade, would be bused 20 miles away to the nearest high school. So in 1996 that Stanford student, Chris Bischof, founded Eastside College Preparatory School, private school with an intensive, college-prep curriculum.
With an initial class of eight students, at one point, Bischof, who is today Eastside's principal, was using park benches in a muddy lot as a classroom. Today, more than 300 students enrolled in grades 6 through 12 attend school on a full built-out campus that includes boarding facilities for more than 100 students.
When College Admission was in high school, summers felt long and slow, a time to earn some extra money and hang out with friends. We worked as a neighborhood babysitter and a proof reader at the local newspaper. Earned a little extra high school credit with classes at the local community college -- one was a "typing course"! Polished short stories in the style of John Cheever that garnered a desk drawer full of rejection slips. On days off, we sprayed our hair with Sun-In and hit the deck at the pool. Every night, we met up with friends by the swings at Kilgore Park. There was so much time for everything.
Today, high school students -- particularly rising seniors -- may feel the need to fill their summer fuller. Terri Devine of Francis Parker School in San Diego, CA, joins us today to talk about summer plans -- particularly for any juniors stressing about their resumes. Read on for some good advice and great ideas…
What Should Juniors Be Doing This Summer?
The answer to this question is really quite simple…get some rest, read, and explore what you find truly interesting (and it would be fine with everyone if what you find truly interesting is a summer job…more on that later).
The National Association for College Admission Counseling’s annual “College Openings Update” -- formerly known as the "NACAC Space Availability Survey" -- is now live. More than 250 four-year colleges and universities still have space available for qualified freshman and/or transfer students. The list also includes information about financial aid and housing availability.
It should come as no surprise that The George Washington University is one of the most politically active campuses in the country. The private research university, located in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of the District of Columbia, is bordered by the White House, Potomac River, the Watergate complex, and the State Department and within walking distance of the National Mall, the Washington Monument, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the capital's preeminent cultural institutions from the Smithsonian Institution to the National Air and Space Museum.
Thank you to Dave Kelber, the morning host at WRNJ Radio, for a great interview, covering all things college admission -- from extracurriculars to what colleges want. You can listen to the entire segment here.
Please join College Admission on WGN Radio this Sunday, May 4th, at 1 p.m. CT! Christine VanDeVelde will be talking college admission -- essays, financial aid, visits, extracurriculars and more -- with host Bill Moller! And if you can't join us, tune back in here next week when we'll have a link to the program for you!