Preparing for College: 7 Things To Do During the Start of your Senior Year
Summer seems to go by so very quickly. Hopefully—no matter what grade you’re entering this fall—you’ve enjoyed a full summer season with a good balance of fun, travel, service work or work experience, and learning. Once the fall semester (or trimester) rolls around, it’s great to feel like you’re ready to finish high school on a high note. Senior year entails a lot of things: college applications, SATs and ACTs, dances, sports, and finishing up your final classes as a high schooler. When it comes to preparing for college, College Ready has some advice for seniors too. Read on to learn about 7 key things to do during the start of your senior year.
It Is Time To Start Preparing for College
- Edit those essays. Ideally, by the start of senior year, you will have drafted at least one of your required application essays—the Common App, a UC PIQ, a scholarship essay, or another supplemental essay. But we know, we know—you need some time for summer fun. Writing an essay is one step. Having another set of trusted eyes read over it is another step you can take this fall. Whether it’s a trusted teacher, a talented-writer friend, or (yes, really) even a parent, having someone read for content, grammar, and overall message can be really helpful. College Ready offers services for brainstorming, editing, and even essay workshops. Essay editing is done through communication between you—the student—and a professional editor. This can help you get your essay to an outstanding final format.
- Build your resumé. The Common App—and most all applications—will ask you to input all of your extracurricular activities, work, volunteer hours, etc. It is so wise to be prepared for this with a well-prepared, thorough, and thoughtful resumé. It is also wise to have a polished, professional copy of your resumé to give to recommenders when you ask for letters of recommendation. College Ready can help you with this too; we have helped so many students get their resumés together for presentation to colleges.
- Ask for a recommendation. If you’ve decided on the best people to write recommendation letters for you, now is the time to reach out to them and make a request. Manners and even some old school gestures— think thank you notes or in-person visits—can go a long way in making a lasting impression on the people who will write these (hopefully, glowing) reviews of you. Recommendation letters get sent to schools through your application, and you will not be able to read or edit them at any point.
- Make a list; check it twice. By this point, seniors should have a pretty solid idea of how their college list will be shaping up. But now, things are getting real, and a finalized list of colleges should be done by early fall. Consider including a healthy mix of target, reach, and comfort schools, and don’t shy away from including plenty of choices for each. Options are a good thing.
- Create a calendar. Fall for seniors means that application deadlines are near. From October on, application deadlines are happening. Keep track of all of your important dates in whatever way will be most helpful to you: Google calendar, iPhone calendar, a written planner, or even a spreadsheet or old fashioned written list. Be sure to keep early action or early decision dates in mind as well.
- Show them the money. FAFSA and financial aid are an important part of the application process. Getting financial details and any necessary paperwork together can help to save time when college deadlines all start rolling in. This year, FAFSA opens in December, and it comes with many changes.
- Testing, testing. Are you going to submit test scores to schools? If you are one of the people who aren’t considering SATs and ACTs optional, then be sure to note that you are sending your score reports to the colleges and universities you’re applying to.
Fall is a busy season! School starts. Holidays start happening. And seniors are setting up a path for the future. Do you feel like you need help for your senior? Reach out to College Ready. We work with high schoolers at all stages of the application process. You can set up a discovery call to learn more, or visit our website to get more information about the things you can achieve with the help of College Ready.