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College Talk Blog

College application process

I'm 17 and I need a RESUME?

Students getting ready for college application season use resumes for several purposes. The first is a courtesy to the faculty from whom they seek a reference. The reference can be much more informative to the college if the faculty member has a holistic view of the student.

The second way in which high school seniors are using resumes is to make the college application process much easier. Taking the time to carefully document all activities in school and the community as well as hobbies and accomplishments helps students breeze through the activity section of The Common Application as well as individual college applications.

I've got this handled mom, really

"It's just an application. What's the fuss about? It isn't due yet. Who can't fill out an online form? Essay? I've been writing them for four years. What's the big deal? I'm a good student. I've got all B's and A's almost. I volunteered a few times. I joined a club. I've got friends who went through this last year. They survived ok. Besides, I am nearly 18, almost a legal adult. Shouldn't I take care of the college application stuff on my own? "

When the ball drops some opportunities are about to dissappear

Some students are still working on college applications that are due in January and February. A popular admission application deadline is January 1. Make sure that opportunity does not get overlooked during festivities to ring in the new year.

Admission application deadlines for most colleges are final, meaning that if you miss a deadline you have missed the opportunity to apply to that particular college. If a student does miss the admission deadline for a college, they can still apply to other colleges and universities.

Should my high school senior be starting college applications now?

One thing that seems to be a constant for me is that I am on a never-ending crusade to convince parents and grandparents that today's college admission process is nothing like their own. The first thing they realize when we begin to talk is that their notion of college admission timelines is different from what their high school senior is facing. You could knock them over with a feather when they find out that most of my students begin filling out applications in July and August BEFORE their senior year begins.

Seniors need allies

It is hard for today's parent or grandparent to fathom what the high school senior in their family is up against. No generation prior to this one faced the level of competition for college admission that this generation faces. What good grades used to earn now requires great grades. AP courses and SAT coaches contribute to higher and higher college placement test scores. And excellent academics is not enough to get into college anymore. Now students are expected to also have an impressive portfolio of leadership and volunteer accomplishments in both their high school and community.