The key to success in reducing stress and ensuring positive results is to create a step-by-step plan that allows sufficient time for research, reflection, and on-going communication among all members of your team.
Develop a relationship with students and their families to ensure that everyone works effectively together as a team.
- Meet with the family and individually with the student.
- Review high school transcript, School Profile, and gather other relevant information that may play into college selection.
- Discuss family considerations such as distance from home, financial parameters, and other priorities.
- Review course selection for the coming high school years.
- Develop a plan for standardized testing, including ACT/SAT diagnostic testing and a schedule that may include time for Subject Tests.
- Consider summer programs or other outside activities that interest the student and may enhance his/her profile.
- Provide a month-to-month timeline for junior and senior years that will assist in overall planning.
Identify criteria for college “fit” and develop a working list of colleges that includes a wide range of schools and selection standards.
- Assist with planning college visits, allowing sufficient time to see a range of schools.
- Provide tools to gather information, record impressions, and look at potential questions and points of comparison.
- Coach on correspondence with admissions representatives before and after visits, and how to set up appointments with faculty and explore extracurricular arenas.
- Prepare for college interviews and decide when and where they should be done.
- Communicate after each round of visits to revise working college list, making additions or changes based on information gathered.
Establish final list of schools to which the student will apply and assist with the completion of college applications.
- Support a selection of schools that meet the student’s most important priorities and provide a solid range of selectivity.
- Identify financial factors, if relevant.
- Brainstorm topics for the main essay and supplementary questions.
- Provide feedback and edits on each essay until complete.
- Oversee all parts of the Common Application and other applications.
- Advise on the use of a resumé or supplements that highlight special interests and talents.
Provide continued support as final deadlines approach, including meetings, phone call and email consultations as needed.
- Finalize teacher and counselor recommendations, making sure requirements of all schools are met.
- Ensure that there is good communication with each recommender.
- Review and incorporate any new information – activities, honors, leadership positions.
- Consider use of standardized test scores and possible need for additional fall testing.
- Advise regarding Early Action and Early Decision options.
- Review printed previews of all applications before submission.
- Ensure deadlines are met.
- Assist with final school selection.