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:
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.
Now that you have your letters in hand and your decision made, take the time to inform all the people in your life who had a hand in your admission process about that decision. That includes the teachers who wrote recommendations, the high school college counselor who loaned you her College Board Handbook, the guidance counselor who advised you to take AP calculus, the English teacher who proofread your essays, the coach who wrote a letter to the athletic department, and the faculty advisor for the newspaper who encouraged you to write an editorial about the stress of applying to college. Let them know where you have decided to enroll and thank them for all they did to help you get there.
You can stop by their classroom or office to let them know in person, but a personal, hand-written thank you note is the most powerful and meaningful way to show your appreciation, according to Mark Moody, Co-Director of College Counseling at Colorado Academy -- and we agree! "Like many counselors, I have a folder full of them in my desk," he told us, "on rougher days, it's where we go to remember why we do this rewarding work in the college application trenches with you!"
Oh, and don’t forget a big thank-you for the people who have helped you get to this point for the last eighteen years . . . your parents.
College Admission is traveling this week. We'll return on Tuesday, February 25th. Coming up: University of Delaware Dean of Admission Jose Aviles answers "5 Questions." Our high school college counselors offer their best advice for seniors about handling acceptances -- and rejection -- as their notifications roll in from the colleges. College advisor Alice Kleeman updates her monthly Financial Aid Checklist. And we'll be back with more weekly advice for juniors and seniors, as well as insights from our guest bloggers as juniors gear up their application process and seniors deal with decisions and financial aid.
Have you heard of "demonstrated interest"? It's one of those phrases that can cause some confusion for students -- and parents -- as they go through the college application process. Luckily, educational psychologist Jane McClure returns this month to demystify "demonstrated interest" and provide six action items for students to -- what else? -- demonstrate interest.
By now, your applications have been submitted. Whew! What a relief! So now you just wait, right? Well, no, not exactly. There are some actions you can take that will make a difference at many colleges, particularly independent colleges and universities. It’s called “demonstrated interest.” Students show demonstrated interest when they take various actions that signal to a school that they are seriously considering it. And it can possibly enhance your chances of admission.
Misty Whelan has lived the college admission process from both sides of the desk, so to speak. True, she worked early in her career at Bryn Mawr College. But that's not what we're talking about. Now a counselor at Conestoga High School in Berwyn, Pennsyvania, Whelan has also navigated the college application process as a parent. Her 16-year-old daughter, Sarah, is taking her first steps in the process and her 19-year-old son is now attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The view from the parental side of the process has been invaluable for Whelan.
"It has really, really helped me immensely as a professional in terms of sympathizing and empathizing with families as they go through this process," says Whelan. "And the other thing it validated for me was letting my son do the work and not to do it for him. He did the bulk of the work. I learned a lot about how to center him and not have him panic or get too stressed out. Luckily, he knew what he wanted and did not have too many schools on his list. I also learned a lot about financial aid and the scholarship process. That was the biggest eye opener for me -- how colleges fund students."
High school counselor Barbara Simmons joins us today to examine the meaning of the directive to "Be yourself!" in the college application -- and provides some steps for getting there. Heads up, juniors! The time to start thinking about this is now.
With all of the resolutions swirling around in January when everything is fresh and new – I propose a resolution for all students embarking upon their search for those colleges that will become their new educational and social homes in a year and a half. So, this resolution is for you, the juniors in high school, heading towards your 2nd semester of junior year.
Resolved: I will continue to “know myself”.
Many of you will think that this aphorism, “know thyself”, has been both overused and around since ancient Greece – at times a proverb used to help those who boasted about themselves, “exceeding what they actually were,” and at times a “warning to pay no attention to the opinion of the multitude." . How many times have you heard “know who you are?” from a counselor or educator or parent? How many questionnaires have you answered with this as the guiding theme?
Millsaps College, a private liberal arts school, located in Jackson, Mississippi, was founded in 1890 when Civil War veteran and businessman Major Reuben Millsaps made a personal gift of $50,000 -- matched by contributions from Mississippi Methodists -- toward the establishment of "a Christian college within the borders of our state."
Set on 100 acres in the heart of Mississippi's capital, today Millsaps is home to 910 undergraduate students, who come from 26 states and 23 countries. Named as both a College That Changes Lives and a Fiske Guide "best buy" school, the college has a faculty-student ratio of 1 to 9 and an average class size of 14.
It's not too soon to begin to keep track of deadlines for your applications, essays, financial aid, letters of recommendation, interviews and any other special requirements such as arts portfolios. Deadlines are important in the college application process. You do not want to miss out on financial aid, housing or even a seat at one of your top colleges by failing to submit information on time. Use whatever method feels easiest for you -- that might be an Excel spreadsheet, an electronic to-do list, a day planner, desk calendar or designated notebook. You can find our Application Deadline Organizer and Financial Aid Deadline Organizer available for download here in both Word and Excel. Whatever method you decide on, update it faithfully and consult it frequently to keep yourself on track for a successful admission process.
College Admission will be in Toronto for the rest of the week for the 2013 NACAC National Conference. Hope to see many of you there...