Happy New Year from the snowy Adirondacks! I am excited to put 2020 in the rearview mirror and I have high hopes that 2021 is going to be amazing. I just sent out my January 1st email to my juniors that lays out our schedule for the next eight months. This plan will send them back to school in September with their applications DONE! In the dark of winter, it seems like a long time away, but it really isn’t. And if we want to complete this work by the end of August, that seed needs to be planted now.
Ideally, I like to see my students walk in senior year with all of their applications ready to submit. But there are exceptions to the rule. Here are a few reasons that you might find a senior working on applications in November or December:
- They applied to some EA/ED schools and they did not like their results, so they feel like they need to expand their list and cast a wider net.
- They applied to some EA/ED schools and they feel like based on these answers, they would like to add another reach or two because they received a positive response to their application.
- They were still testing in the fall and got either stronger or weaker scores that have made us rethink their list and add some schools.
- A student happens to have a chance to see a school that they were not considering and they love it. True story-I had a family that had a flight diverted to Detroit and then their connecting flight was cancelled. This left them stuck overnight in Detroit in the dead of winter. They took advantage of this and visited the University of Michigan. Fast forward and this amazing kid graduated last spring from UM and has an awesome job!
- Senior year they develop a new academic interest and they want to add some schools that offer majors in this area.
- An opportunity develops around athletic recruiting during senior year at a school that was not initially on their list.
So I aim to send them back 100% done but there are circumstances where students are working on applications during senior year. Because they have already completed so much writing over the summer, this work usually goes smoothly.
And finally, here is my tip for juniors. I know that many of you have not been able to visit college campuses due to the pandemic. (I know first hand as I am also the parent of a 2021 student). I do not know how much admission offices are going to open this spring. The truth is, I think it will be a mixed bag. But here is the thing that most high school parents forget; colleges open in August. Some southern campuses are in session by early August and most schools have students on campus by the third week in August. I anticipate that by the fall, college campuses will be in session and open to prospective students. So I think that families should plan on taking advantage of the second half of August to visit colleges before their seniors head back to their own schools.
I hope you had a peaceful holiday and I wish you the best in 2021!