how to get a head start on college admissions

Posted : June 28, 2011
Last Updated : June 17, 2019

how to get a head start on college admissions

Summer is a time for relaxed living and a prime opportunity for you and your teen to get a jump start on college planning activities. Sit down together and review checklists and timelines and set some goals.

During the summer, your teen should:

Research career options.

Some people know early in life what they want to be when they grow up; others take some time to decide. Help your son or daughter find the resources to explore career options, such as the ACT World-of-Work Map.

Visit potential colleges.

Your son or daughter might have a list of potential colleges he or she would like to attend. Prioritize the schools and visit as many as possible. Be sure to ask lots of questions and record your impressions for later reference. If you and your student can't visit a campus in person, be sure to take a virtual tour of the school.

Build an academic resume.

Assembling accomplishments, extracurricular activities, and notable academic work into a comprehensive document will ease the college application process for both of you. Help your teen build a list so he can create a high school resume.

Write practice essays.

Essays are an integral part of the college admissions process. Encourage your teen to write multiple essays for practice. Proofread the essays and offer suggestions.

Complete mock interviews.

Research questions that an admissions counselor may ask during a college admissions interview and complete mock interviews with your child. Rate your child in the following areas so he will know which areas he needs to improve upon:

  • Promptness
  • Attire
  • Preparation
  • Attitude
  • Verbal Skills
  • Body language

Research application deadlines.

Know deadlines for college admissions, scholarships, and financial aid for each potential school as they can vary. Find out what information and documents will be needed to complete applications. Gathering those documents early is much easier than trying to find everything under the pressure of a deadline.

Because of its more relaxed pace and fewer distractions, summer offers time to begin working on college application tasks. Take advantage of the time to work together with your teen.

Source: ACT Parent

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