Congratulations to all parents of seniors.
It’s been a long haul. Your soon to be adult is blossoming and ready to leave the roost. Parents of juniors need to prepare for the many tasks I’ve listed for the summer months. June can be a tough month for juniors. With beautiful weather on the horizon, It’s easy to forget that this is an important time to prepare for college.
For many high school juniors, summer break has begun. Are your kids home alone while you are at work? Scary! Students need to understand that College’s look at the classes you take senior year. The trick is to take the most challenging classes you can without getting in over your head. It’s OK to get a B in an honors or AP course. College students get B’s, too. A’s are always better. Just make sure your senior classes include core subjects in:
Your student should have three years to be on the safe side. Some schools require two years. Better safe than sorry.
Ask for Teacher Recommendations
Recommendation letters from two teachers in your core classes help admission officers gain more insight into your academic curiosity and how you participate in class. Grades and test scores can only tell a college so much about you as a student. Offer your brag sheet if the teacher didn’t get to know you all that well.
What you do with your summer says something about you. My thirteen year old thinks he is going to play video games this summer. I have news for him. He will learn the meaning of community service and giving back this summer.
He is a little young to work this year, however not too young to work for free. Your parents should seek out local internships or community service openings. If your kid can take a class at a local college, sign up, or take a Massive Open Online Course or MOOC and earn a certificate. Be proactive and stand out.
There are many ways to prep for the standardized tests. I suggest free SAT/ACT prep courses for your initial test. My students start off with www.number2.com. This is a free resource to pass on to friends & family. Test scores are important in getting scholarships especially from the colleges themselves. A few more points or even a one tenth of a GPA can make a huge difference in how much your parents will pay for college.
The College Essay
The only thing I think it’s important for me to say about the dreaded college essay is that it’s nothing more than a story. As long as you address the essay prompt, which is your structure, or, some would say, “the rules”. This is your chance to show admissions who you are and what you value as well as your character. This is your opportunity to put a red bow around your admissions package and distinguish yourself from all the other applicants.
Sometime in July, the Common Application essays are released in advance. Check often and get a head start on your brainstorming ideas. The essay will be a lot easier without the pressure of classes and homework assignments.
Wrapping it Up
Your last year of high school can be intense. Get as much of your college task done this summer so you can enjoy your senior year. I don’t mean not to have fun. If you play your summer carefully, you will enjoy it more knowing that you have the map you’ll need for the road to college. Oh, one last thing: Don’t forget your student’s summer reading list. Schools will ask every student during their interview, “What books did you read over the summer”. Look for our online college admissions boot camp in the fall. For more in depth information, be sure to visit our website at www.collegemoneypros.com/12. You will receive our report, 12 Insider Secrets to Pay for College.
Please contact me via my contact form at Spark It Network:
Contact Form for College Money Pros
Latest posts by Dan Evertsz (see all)
- Congratulations to All Parents of Seniors! - June 2, 2014
- Should Your Children Go To College? - May 20, 2014
- Maximizing Your Time This Summer Preparing For College - May 15, 2014