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High School Juniors: Are You Ready for the Admissions Climb?

I say it frequently, but starting early and keeping organized is the key to success in navigating the college admissions process. With applications skyrocketing across the country and acceptance rates dropping, it's going to be more important than ever for our juniors to get a solid jump on this process. We just did a webinar on this that you can review here:

I often use a mountain climbing analogy to describe the various parts of the admissions process, and our juniors are about to embark on the steeper part of the climb, which begins after spring break. Below are some key items to focus on as we move towards the summit:

  • Common App Account: If you haven't done so already, now is the time to create your Common App Account - - and begin exploring the various components of the platform. It's incredibly user-friendly (I'm a big fan of the Common App!), but getting the hang of it early will pay dividends down the road.

  • Common App Personal Essay: The personal essay prompts for our juniors have been released (they didn't change from last year)! I'd strongly recommend juniors begin reviewing and brainstorming what they might want to write about now. The prompts can be found here -

  • Common App Activities List: The activities list is an incredibly important part of the college application process, but it often neglected until the fall of senior year. I'd recommend juniors begin building their lists of activities now, paying close attention to the specific formatting and limited space provided in the Common App.

  • Teacher Recommendations: The tail-end of junior year is the perfect time to informally reach out to teachers and ask if they would be willing to write teacher recommendations for you this fall. Who will you ask? Now is the time to start thinking about which teachers can best speak to your traits, values, and positive characteristics.

  • Grades: This one is probably obvious, but ending junior year with a solid GPA is absolutely critical. Remember - these grades will likely be the last ones colleges see at the time of your applications to college. Make sure you are leaving them with a positive impression of your academic abilities!

  • Summer Plans: What are your plans for this summer!? Colleges are increasingly interested in how you choose to spend this time. Vacation, travel, work, internships, sports, etc. are all excellent, just make sure you have a compelling answer when you are inevitably asked by colleges "how did you spend your summer breaks in high school?".

Feeling like you might need some help managing this process? We will begin our next Foundry Cohort sessions on April 13th and will dive deeply into all of the above (and a lot more). I guarantee you will come out of the sessions in a really great position for this part of the climb. You can enroll here: (and make sure to take $250 off with code "spring2023").

If you'd prefer 1:1 work, we can help there as well. Feel free to schedule a free consultation call to discuss this option further:

Enjoy the climb!

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