College Admission will be a guest on WGN Midday News on Monday! Christine VanDeVelde will be talking about strategies for students and parents to keep calm and carry on in college application season, as well as the college essay, applying early, and why it's important to read the fine print in the application form.
College Admission: From Application to Acceptance Step by Step
Thank you to everyone who wished us "Happy Anniversary" in the last week! And congratulations to the winners of our Anniversary Book Giveaway: Christopher Dearth, Debbie Paparella, Janet Carson, Anya Puri Brunnick, Kristin Wasserzug, and Ruth Greenlee Micheletti! Your books are on the way!
Dan Gin had been a generalist high school counselor for four years when he boarded the Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC) Bus O' Fun Tour. Road tripping for a week through ten college campuses in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, Gin realized he had found his calling. "I could be the one who helps students find the right college," he said. And for the past eight years, Gin has, as the College and Career Counselor at Niles West High School in Skokie, Illinois.
Set in a suburb eight miles north of Chicago, Niles West is a culturally diverse public high school serving more than 2,600 students. Among those students, there are 96 different spoken languages, with the most common being Urdu, Spanish and Assyrian. Thirty per cent of the students are English language learners. Another 30% are on free and reduced lunch. And since Skokie is in the first ring of suburbs on the borders of Chicago, one in four students are transfers. So as the only college counselor on staff -- though he's assisted by 11 generalist counselors -- Gin faces some special challenges.
Thank you, thank you to the more than 650 readers who entered our book giveaway on Goodreads! And to the lucky ten selected by the Goodreads staff: your book is on the way! Stay tuned for future giveaways and, in the meantime, please visit us at CollegeAdmissionBook.com. With additional thanks to the wonderful site Goodreads!
Coming next week, we'll have a new Complete Guide to the Application Form, including recent changes to the Common Application right here on the website. Details to come...
Now that school is out for summer, College Admission is going on vacation, too. But just as rising seniors will be working from time to time on their college application process, we'll also be hanging around and posting a bit. So please check in from time to time here and on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.
We'll be back strong in August with advice from more deans -- Georgia Tech and Davidson start us off -- and more high school college counselors -- from New Mexico and Indiana -- as well as a Q&A with a top college recruiter for football, information for students interested in applying to the military academies, and the complete guide to the new Common Application, CA4.
In the meantime, enjoy the lazy days of summer... I know we will.
We recently asked high school counselor Kelly Dunham what five things juniors should take care of before the school year ends and we thought we'd bring you her great advice here again. BTW, she added a kicker sixth item that is essential for a smooth college admissions process in your senior year!
What are the five most important things for juniors to do before the end of the school year?
Conference with their high school counselor or college counselor
ACT/SAT test prep and take ACT/SAT (hopefully twice)
Ask for teacher letters of recommendation
Have an honest conversation with parents about finances
Online college searches, local college fairs, visit college campuses
And one more:
Be aware of college admission requirements: required high school coursework, GPA, test scores, letters of rec, essays, etc.
For more information about applying to college, see College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, Step by Step, including the recommendations in "Timeline: The Path to College."
Congratulations, seniors! Enjoy these last few weeks of high school. Just one word of warning! You still need to keep your eye on the ball -- both in the classroom and on campus. Your college acceptance is conditional on completing your senior year at the same level of performance you have shown thus far. Even now, if slacking off gets out of hand, your admission can be rescinded.
And while your classroom work may be completed, beware of any lapse in character or judgment -- drug use, drinking, or any behavioral issue that may result in disciplinary action, including something as stupid as vandalism like knocking over porta-potties at a school event. If you are waitlisted, a dip in grades or lapse in judgment can work against your being admitted. And it's important to model good behavior for the junior class following in your footsteps. So take a deep breath, enjoy all that you've accomplished, but keep up the good work…