College Planning Checklist (August)

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It’s Officially College Application Season! Here’s What Students Need to Do to Prepare

August is the official kick-off of the college application season, with the Common App released Aug. 1. We are already working hard helping our students prepare for the admissions season!

As stressful as the next few months may be, everything is easier when you go into it with a plan. For those of you that aren’t seniors yet, it’s important to remember that colleges will be looking at your entire high school career. When the time comes, it will be nice to know you did everything you could to prepare yourself for the application process.

It’s never too early to start thinking about putting your best foot forward! So, as you head back to school, consider keeping a checklist of what you need to accomplish this August:

Seniors

  • Register for the Common Application and continue to work on your college essays. Have at least a few drafts ready before the start of the school year.
  • Narrow down your college list, including a balanced combination of reach, target, and likely schools
  • Keep calendar of important testing and application deadlines.
  • Start approaching teachers for letters of recommendation. Give them plenty of time to submit them – at least one month before they are due.
  • Beware of senioritis! Colleges will look at this semester’s grades very closely.

Juniors

  • Continue your SAT and ACT prep. If you haven’t already, register for the tests if you plan to take them this fall.
  • Start heavily researching colleges online and start putting together your balanced college list.
  • Begin planning some college visits over breaks this fall.

Sophomores

  • Start learning about the college admissions process! Read books, research online, and follow blogs (like ours!) to learn how colleges evaluate applicants and what goes into creating a great college essay.
  • Remember that colleges take all four years into consideration, so set high grade goals and try to achieve an upward trend (or maintain A’s).
  • Continue to read as much as possible in your area of interest, and start to think about what you may want to study in college.

Freshmen

  • Enjoy the start of high school! Meet new people, explore new interests, and be sure to look into clubs and student organizations of interest.
  • Start off on the right foot! Remember that colleges look at your grades from every year, and it’s easier to maintain your grades and GPA if they start off high.
  • Start building an outside reading list, preferably in an area of interest that you want to learn more about.

The start of a new school year can be exciting, and intimidating. If you go into the back to school and college application season knowing what you need to accomplish this month, you’ll be confident and prepared – insuring you excel this school year!

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