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May College Application Prep Items for 9th, 10th, and 11th Graders!

As we enter Spring and approach summer break, it's a great time for all of our high school students to reflect on the academic year and begin planning for the summer and fast approaching fall 2023 semester (it will be here before you know it!). For those planning to apply to college in the future, here are some items to focus on this month.

9th and 10th Graders:

  1. Build Your Initial College List: Have you built an initial list of colleges that you are interested in researching further? We are experts in the list building process and can certainly help if needed!

  2. Finalize Summer Plans: Colleges are increasingly interested in understanding how you spend your time over the summer. When you are asked about how you spent this time, what will you say? Vacation, travel, sports, work, internships, and exploring personal interests are all great ways to spend this time!

  3. Finish the School Year With Strong Grades: Your GPA is the foundation upon which your college applications will be built (it is very hard to recover from a poor GPA). Finish your classes strong.

  4. Read!: What are you reading? We believe this is one of the most important habits you can develop in 9th and 10th grade. Remember: Strong readers make strong writers!

11th Graders:

  1. Continue Refining Your College List: How is your college list development progressing? At this stage, we probably want a list of around 20-25 colleges we are interested in and that can be further refined to the final set of 10-12 by October.

  2. Prepare for Standardized Tests: At this point, most juniors have taken the SAT or ACT at least once. Do you need to take the test again? While most colleges are now test-optional, strong test scores will certainly give a positive boost to your application. May is a good time to make a determination on whether or not to take another test and when to take it!

  3. Request Letters of Recommendation: Identify teachers, counselors, or other adults who can write strong letters of recommendation on your behalf. Request these letters this month or next and provide your recommenders with additional information to help them understand all the great things you've been doing outside of the classroom!

  4. Update Your Common App Activities List: Update and polish your activities list, including your extracurricular activities, community service, and leadership roles. Highlight your strengths and personal accomplishments.

  5. Start Drafting Your Common App Personal Essay: Begin brainstorming and drafting your Common App Personal essay. The prompts for high school juniors are now available here: . Reflect on your experiences, values, and goals, and make sure your essays showcase your unique voice and personality. We will be holding some upcoming essay writing in bootcamps in June and July (price is currently $100 but will go up after June 1!):

    1. June 28 Essay Bootcamp:

    2. July 9 Essay Bootcamp:

  6. Plan Campus Visits: If possible, plan virtual or in-person visits to the campuses of the colleges you are considering. Attend information sessions, take virtual tours, or participate in online events to get a sense of the campus culture and environment.

  7. Finalize Summer Plans: How do you plan to spend your time this summer? Colleges will be interested! A mix of vacation, rest, work, and a pursuit of a passion (sports, academic, other) are all compelling and attractive to college admissions offices.

Looking for help navigating the process? Feel free to schedule a free consultation call with us to learn more about how we work with students to ensure great college application outcomes! Schedule your call here:

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