Student introspection re strengths as a college applicant should begin as early as the sophomore year but certainly, juniors need to take stock now.
- Strength of high school curriculum tops each college admission review
- Sciences – Will you have taken at least 2 lab courses by graduation?
- Foreign Language – Will you have taken at least 3 years by graduation?
- Math Courses – Will you have completed not only Algebra I, II and Geometry but also Pre-Calculus and possibly Calculus by graduation?
- Extracurricular Activities – Do you plan to demonstrate intensive leadership in a major school or community activity or do you have an individual talent recognized as superior. What is your passion that will set you apart from other applicants?
- What does your GPA really mean? Colleges typically only look at your core curriculum when calculating a competitive GPA. Do you know your real GPA?
- Academic Recommendations – If your teachers were required to write your college recommendations letters today, what would they say
This analogy is for moms and is hokey but rings true. When you are cooking dinner, what produces the best meal with the least amount of stress and work? I suggest that best method is to allow supper to slowly develop in a crock pot that was turned on low in the morning vs. rushing home with a bag of groceries to wash, chop, prepare and cook at 6:30 pm.
The former approach provides calm, the latter typically ends up with too many pans, possibly a burnt dish and a lot of yelling. Work with your student to start college planning early (aka crock pot style – slow and consistent) and your life is a lot easier!