It truly seems unfair that many colleges have January 1 application deadlines. In fact, many schools have pushed these deadlines to January 5 or January 15 in order to give students a break from having applications due on New Years Day. But even so, for students with deadlines in December, January, or even February, the holidays can be a challenging time of juggling family obligations, schoolwork, and college applications. The good news is that there are things you can do to make this time a little bit easier and less stressful.
If you haven’t already read this article from Education Week, I suggest that you do so. It was concerning to us here at Campus Bound, and we wanted to take this opportunity, in this blog, to respond to it.
The take-away from the article, and from this recent study from the National Association of College Admission Counselors, is that only a third of the public high schools in the United States have a college counselor, or designated counselor, to help them with post-high school educational goals. Even more concerning is that the likeliness of a school having a college counselor goes down as the poverty rate of the high school students goes up. So even fewer middle to lower class students are getting this kind of support.
It’s counter-intuitive, but parents who take a step back from their child’s college admissions process may actually hear more. It can be very hard advice to follow; we get it, but stick with us on this.
When I’ve asked groups of juniors and seniors what their parents can do to help them with the college process, their response is almost always… stop asking me about the college process. A student once told me, “I just want to have one dinner with my family where college isn’t brought up.”
Much of the staff at Campus Bound has worked here for several years. It’s a fabulous place to work for many reasons, including: the collegiality among the staff, the guidance of the senior staff and supervisors, and, most importantly, the clients we serve. One of the great things about working at Campus Bound is the honor of being able to work with a family over several years. It’s one of the true joys of my job.
From time to time, we like to utilize the well over 50 years of combined college admissions experience of the Campus Bound staff to provide students and parents with some inside scoop. These counselors have been on the other side of the desk, so their advice is priceless.
This time, we asked our former College Admission Counselors, “If a student has less than stellar grades, how can they enhance their application in other ways?”
Here are their responses.:
Unfortunately, this happens quite a bit: we’ll have our first meeting with student and then they say the words we dislike hearing, “I wish I had known that…”
We wish the college process wasn’t confusing or difficult, but the truth is, it can be. Here are some of the most common scenarios, by school year, in which we hear students say “I wish I knew that!” Pay attention… don’t let it be you!
What is Superscore?
Superscoring is a policy some schools have by which they will consider a student’s highest section scores from any test date of the same test. Many students take college admission tests more than once. If a college superscores, they will take the highest scores from Reading & Writing, and Math (from the SAT, for example) to calculate a new total score.
It’s no surprise that taking a year off between high school and college is a growing trend in America. The rising number of gap year programs and increase in information about taking a gap year are leading parents to ask the question, “Could a gap year program be right for my son or daughter?” The gap year trend has seen a 20 percent increase since 2006 and the initial data is coming back with overwhelmingly positive indications for student success in college. Yet, many parents are still hesitant and anxious about their student taking a year off. Being informed and seeking help from trusted professionals will help you will make the right decision about whether or not this rising trend is right for your child.
Many colleges ask students to write a supplemental essay with the prompt, “Why are you applying to Amazing University?” Chances are you will have to write one or more of these during the application rush. Easy, right? Not so fast! This essay can be one of the more challenging essays to do correctly. It requires careful reflection and should not be put off until the last minute.