A client called me recently to help her daughter write the college essays. She wanted her daughter to start in the summer. Summer does seems like a great time to spend working on your essays. You are finally finished with school and activities are winding down. Unfortunately, the Common Application doesn’t come out until August. Why? Schools are still filling their ranks – accepting people off wait lists and getting organized for the next college application season. What to do? I advise students to do the following to get ready for the Fall Rush.
- Research the colleges and universities you want to go to: This means looking at their catalogue to find programs and majors that might appeal to you based on your interests in high school. In all likelihood, you will be asked to write an essay on this.
- Look at this year’s essay questions: Although these question might change for the fall, you will get an idea about what types of essays are required and maybe the kind of candidates they are looking for. For example, Tufts University’s supplement essay, “Describe your nerdy side”, reveals that this school wants creative students.
- Talk to friends/relatives who have gone to your desired schools: Getting as much information as possible about the colleges and universities you apply to will give you a good idea about professors, academics, and what life is like there.
- Resist the temptation to visit a college: You need to save your college tours until the fall. It’s important to see the school in “full swing” to really know if you want to apply.