With summer in the rearview mirror, senior year catapults like no other. Seniors enter the first day of classes with the knowledge that they are going to enter a new phase of life and first semester will be filled with a planner whether 21st Century Electronic or 20th Century Day Timer…or both. These planners will be filled with an extraordinary amount of dates and deadlines. Organization is paramount for the College Application Process.
Because there is the possibility that your student will have three options for applications:
The Common Application, The Coalition Application or the Universal Application, the major role of the parent could best be utilized as information gatherer. While much information is gathered electronically, sometimes, it is helpful to have an old fashioned binder or three ring binder with pocket files or clear sleeves with sections for:
Semester Grades (from Freshman Year)/Transcripts
Those fantastic Assignments (students can sign on to The Coalition Application Freshman year and put outstanding assignments in the student locker)
ACT/SAT dates and scores
Monthly calendar with college visits to your school and college fairs
College List: College Visits and notes
Essay Drafts: Where are they?
Passwords: for each application
To Do List
Parents are also responsible for the FAFSA and if required the CSS Profile, and both of those will take some time.
While parents can be the organizer, the other role may be that of polite encourager. Leave the binder in an obvious place, place deadline dates on the family calendar as well making sure your student has the dates. Hopefully, that is all the encouragement needed, but generally not.
I don’t think any counselor will sugar coat it… Senior Year and the application comes mixed with excitement, trepidation, and a bit of the unknown. Being organized can take some of the stress away, particularly when universities might ask for that fabulous assignment, or, you are trying to dig up an award or certificate of significance that might be in the attic or buried in the abyss.
With all good wishes for an organized and successful path to university,
World Student Support
The Common Application: commonapp.org
The Coalition Application: coalitionforcollegeaccess.org
Universal College Application: universalcollegeapp.com