Summer is the start of the college application crunch for rising seniors. We always recommend that our clients do the lion’s share of the work before the first day of school to eliminate as much stress as possible. Besides getting a head start on the application this summer, there are other things you can do
1. Demonstrate sincere interest. Visit the campus, if possible. If you visit a West Coast school from the East Coast, this shows you’re serious about applying. When you’re on campus, attend a class that interests you. Introduce yourself to the professor before class begins or speak with current students afterward. You can demonstrate sincere interest by talking about these experiences during your admissions interview.
When admissions officers from your top-choice colleges visit your high school, be sure to introduce yourself and ask a few specific questions —about curriculum, study abroad programs, internships, research, etc. —to show you’ve done your research. Don’t pass up this golden opportunity to personalize your application and reinforce your sincere interest. Chances are very good that admissions officer will be evaluating your application.
2. Mine the people you know. Connect with friends or relatives who are alums (or who know alums) to learn more about your top-choice schools. This will help you sound more knowledgeable. Plus, you never know who could help you by writing a letter or making a phone call.
3. Keep up the full-court press on academics. Offers of admission are conditional. You need to maintain your commitment to academics. It’s hard to do, but it’s especially important in the first semester of your senior year.
4. Proofread your application. Reread your application front to back and back to front multiple times. Then, ask someone else to look over it with fresh eyes. After working on it for so long, you may find it difficult to spot errors.
5. Apply early. This makes you focus on the college process earlier, and it demonstrates strong interest. Many colleges try to lock in their yields by filling a significant percentage of their classes early. Research shows that applying early can greatly increase your chances of getting in.
Stephanie Klein Wassink is the founder and principal of AdmissionsCheckup.com. She is also a Fairfield County-based college consultant with more than 15 years’ experience. For more information, call 203-938-3878 or email email@example.com.