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College Applications: Wrap Them Up!

Posted on 11/14/2016, by Dr. Ellen Fithian to Parents of 12th Graders (0 comments)

For most families, college application season is a lot like Christmas shopping; you vow to start early but generally still end in a mad rush to get everything done on time.

To avoid that pitfall, your teen really needs to get serious now, if she hasn't already. Consider that there are about seven weeks left until January 1, the deadline for many applications. The typical teen has a full schedule of school work and activities, leaving little free time to wedge in college application tasks. Further, three of those seven weeks contain Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's, when filling out forms and writing essays will probably not be your senior’s activities of choice. Your school counselor is not planning to spend Christmas morning writing letters of recommendation, either, so she is probably requiring students to submit recommendation requests ten days to two weeks before the winter break.

Teens often underestimate the amount of work – and time – involved in the application process. Condensing four years worth of activities into the Common Application’s extracurricular table is no easy feat, nor is crafting a fresh, earnest yet entertaining response to a stale, uninspired essay prompt. 

Your senior also needs to send official SAT/ACT score reports to all her colleges and request letters of recommendation from teachers, so make sure those tasks get attended to in a timely fashion. If you can convince your teen to get busy checking off the tasks on his college to-do list now, he might even finish in time for both of you to enjoy a little holiday cheer. 

Recommended Reading:
If you’re just getting started on college applications and haven’t read the first four installments of this series, there’s no time like the present.
Step 1 for Seniors: Compose the College List
Step 2 for Seniors: Contemplating College Costs
Step 3 for Seniors: Organizing the Application Process
College Essay: Parent Do's and Don'ts

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Posted on 11/14/2016, by Dr. Ellen Fithian (0 comments)




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