One of the biggest mistakes parents and students can make in the college search and application process is listening to the advice of unqualified people. The title of this blog is meant to be humorous, but in reality, it happens quite a bit. Someone who went to a particular college years ago may have strong feelings about and memories of the school that just aren’t relevant now. Or, a family member may have heard something about a college once that left a bad taste in their mouth. But that information is completely unrelated to what your experience would be like there. The point of this blog is, take what others say with a huge grain of salt.
Many eager juniors are kicking off the college process by taking an official SAT or ACT. Before you do, however, we offer some important and practical advice to consider.
This is the time of year when juniors tend to kick off the college process. During their first meeting with us, we college counselors ask them, “have you thought about where you’d like to attend college?” We ask about the size of the school they would prefer, what they’d like to study, etc. And then we ask, “Do you know where you’d like to be located for college? What part of the country/ what state(s)? And, in my experience, around 75% of students say, “Someplace warm!”
It will be here before you know it; you will be handed a booklet, or given a website to view, and told to pick your courses for next year. This can cause the common “deer in the headlights” look. How do you even begin? In this previous blog, we outlined some common questions that students have when selecting their courses for the following year so be sure to read that, but in this blog, we will give step-by-step directions for how to make the best decisions about course selection for you.
The majority of selective four-year colleges are going to ask applicants to provide teacher recommendations. It’s smart for students to think about these in advance and not wait until the last minute to ask for them. In this blog, we outline the 5W’s of college recommendations.
As we mentioned in this previous blog, winter and spring of junior year is the optimal time to visit colleges. And, you can click on the “tours and visits” blog category on our blog’s main page for more advice about how to make the most of your visits and why they are important.
During your first winter meeting with your Campus Bound counselor, you will get a list of colleges that fit what you are seeking. But once you get that list, and if you are looking at colleges farther away, how do you go about planning these trips? Campus Bound will attempt to be a travel agent in this helpful blog.
Part of the college process in the winter/ spring of junior year is deciding what kinds of students you want to surround yourself with in college. Which types of students inspire you and enable you to do your best? Different schools attract different students, which influences the culture on campus.
In these early winter months, seniors are wrapping up the college application process, and juniors are typically starting. There are two weeks that all juniors should already have marked on their calendars. If you don’t… do it now!
It’s counter-intuitive, but parents who take a step back from their child’s college admissions process may actually hear more. It can be very hard advice to follow; we get it, but stick with us on this.
When I’ve asked groups of juniors and seniors what their parents can do to help them with the college process, their response is almost always… stop asking me about the college process. A student once told me, “I just want to have one dinner with my family where college isn’t brought up.”
From time to time, we like to utilize the well over 50 years of combined college admissions experience of the Campus Bound staff to provide students and parents with some inside scoop. These counselors have been on the other side of the desk, so their advice is priceless.
This time, we asked our former College Admission Counselors, “If a student has less than stellar grades, how can they enhance their application in other ways?”
Here are their responses.: