Mar 04 2015
As you will recall, my son Joe is a senior in high school and I’ve been writing about the college application process in hopes that my experience will help readers who have college bound kids in the high school pipeline.
At this point, we’ve completed the Common Application, the CSS Financial Aid Profile, additional essays that some schools required, ROTC apps, and other assorted methods of teen/parent torture.
I haven’t written about the college application process for awhile, so I thought I’d return to that topic. But instead of my voice, Joe has written a couple of tips for current high school juniors and sophomores. Next week, he’ll add come insights into the ROTC process.
Senior year has been an experience for me that almost rivals Germany and Japan. It is the resolution to all of my hard work in high school, and the beginning of independence. It can be daunting, especially to an oldest child. The thought that these past few months and the upcoming ones may very well determine my life’s trajectory is intimidating; the seemingly impossible process of it all only makes it scarier. Based on this experience, I have discovered some tips on my own that would have proven helpful to me seven months ago, and can hopefully others along the same journey.
Firstly, the only way of truly judging a college or university is to tour it. There are multiple schools that I visited and only then did I see myself there. This advice is fairly common, but extremely accurate. Going to campus is really only half of the process; I strongly recommend student led tours and information seminars. They give you an insight into the nuances of schools that letters and websites cannot.
Secondly, look out for emails regarding an ‘express’ or ‘custom’ application. Schools will send perspective seniors an invitation to apply via a special application. The best ones exclude essays and application fees, which was very attractive for me. I got into six schools that I would not have otherwise thought of applying to because they sent me a “Pioneer” or “Choice” application. These are really helpful for the application process, especially if you want to apply all over the country but have no idea where.