The bulk of the essay questions students will have to write to apply to colleges will be available beginning August 1, 2013. Optimally, a great deal of thought goes into which essay prompt to choose and how to craft an essay that tells the student's story above and beyond what is already apparent on the application for admission.
Offer to help your high school senior by proofing their rough drafts for unintended errors. Family can also help by proofing the college applications when they are complete before the student hits send. A complete application avoids needless delays.
Students who can get ahead of the work curve on college applications will experience less stress in the fall and possibly better fall grades. They will also have more time available to apply for scholarships...speaking of which-this is a great time to start a scholarship calendar to which you can add scholarship opportunities as you find them.