Problem: Your son or daughter is applying to college in less than six months and you’re not sure where the process is. What’s the final list of schools, which tests are being sent and when, which teachers are writing the recommendations and all important: what are they writing their essays about?!!!
The last question is most perplexing. If a bunch of kids from your child’s school are all applying to the same colleges, what are your child’s distinguishing factors? Who’s going to help brainstorm and make suggestions for revision? Is it the school counselor? Can he or she really hold my kid accountable? Maybe, but you hear that the school counselor may be overwhelmed with so many students that you are concerned that they may not find time to help your child.
Solution: Have your son or daughter start their applications now. Many colleges use the Common Application and your rising senior can start entering data today. Nothing will be submitted to colleges as long as you keep your credit card in your wallet. (Most colleges have $30-$70 application fees). Your child can get ahead of the game by doing this simple task which buys you time to ask a professional about the other pieces.
The personal essay questions are available and you should discuss possible responses with your child. There are low cost clinics and online support to help with brainstorming and revision. The only issue with that is there is not complete oversight of essays, deadlines, tasks and overall strategies. Your kid may need to write essays for particular programs that need expert eyes. By suggesting certain programs and majors that may have fewer applicants or need the academic, geographical or gender diversity, your kid will stand out.