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Preparing for College Applications – As Early as Middle School and Younger
Pleased to introduce a guest blogger this week: Janis Daly. Janis is our director of sponsorship sales, and mom to 2 teen boys. Her oldest is nearing the end of his college admissions process. Janis has some insight, that they gained during the college application journey, to share with families that are just beginning the whole process.
February 1st marked the end of the college application process for millions of U.S. high school seniors. After completing this process with my oldest son and hitting SUBMIT eight times, I’ve discovered two key tips worth sharing with parents whose children are years away from this daunting exercise.
- Conveying ideas and experiences through the written word helps your child become more than an SAT score or summary of four years’ grades and extracurriculars. Learning how to articulate on paper: Who am I? and What’s important to me? is one of the few ways an admissions office discovers the person behind the student. Setting the stage to write solid college essays begins with the fundamentals of writing established during middle school and even elementary school. Getting to the point quickly, with well-chosen words, is paramount when you have a 250-, or even 50-word limit to answer a question.
- Individual experiences develop rich subject material. In order to write a compelling essay, you need first-hand experiences to reveal personal thoughts and ideas. As you plan your next family vacation, consider whether a trip to a National Park, historical location, or a weekend in the middle of a city, might provide a different perspective than the same spot you visit every year. Let your child, and yourself, become comfortable with trying different activities. Expose your child to situations from which they can learn and grow. Siloing a child’s activities and interests as young as elementary ages translates into a one-dimensional college application 10 years later. Getting your whole family into the groove of trying different things, visiting different places and meeting different people offers experiences that can be drawn upon, or melded together, for a rich personal statement.
Finally, enjoy your kids and the time you spend together. Senior year descends in the blink of an eye.