College Guidance for Juniors
April 21, 2016
Your Last Chance to Make A Huge Difference
Meredith’s final opportunity to make a significant difference on their college
application is approaching over the summer. If Meredith has any gaps to fill in
their extracurricular experience, this is it. You have 3 months to get these filled
to create a complete and well-rounded story about your passions, interests, and
the issues that are important to you.
The strength of your story and how you tell it is the backbone of getting into your
top choice schools at the lowest cost. Everyone will get into college. It’s
just a matter of which one and how much you’ll pay. Once you are in (a factor
of academics and extracurriculars), creating a compelling story, finding colleges
that care about this story, and aligning your story with the college’s mission
get you the scholarship money to make that top choice school more affordable.
AP exam dates are approaching in May. If Meredith plans on taking any AP exams,
make sure to schedule these with your AP coordinator now.
What We Sent To Meredith
If Meredith is signed up to get the CollegeTicket Guidance emails, this
is what we sent to them today. Please let us know if you have any questions.
Building Your Strongest Resume – This Summer Is Your Last Opportunity
You have about 4 months before you begin work on your college application. Summer
is near and it’ll be time to relax a bit and spend time with your friends.
It’s also your last chance to make a significant difference on the story you
tell about yourself in your college application.
Login to CollegeTicket and take a look
at your activities resume. Review the experiences you’ve included and think
about the two or three topics that are truly meaningful to you. If you’ve
done volunteer work with, say, the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs, foster kids,
and homeless families, you might decide that mentoring and tutoring inner-city youth
is a key part of who you are. If you served as a student council officer; spent
a summer in Washington DC interning for a member of congress, non-profit, or lobbying
organization; and played a part in a Model UN, part of your story will be your interest
in politics and the political process.
How Will You Tell Your Story?
Once you’ve identified the 1, 2, or 3 stories that help define what truly
matters to you, take a deeper look at those stories. Talk with your parents about
the kind of story you want the college admissions office to understand about you.
Role-play with them. Ask them to play the part of the college, then talk to them
about why these stories matter to you and why they should matter to the college.
Does your story line up well with the mission statement of the colleges you want
to attend? If not, maybe you should look for other schools to add to your shortlist.
What Is Your Story Missing?
As you talk through your story think about what’s missing. What experience
could you add to your story that no other student will have? Where are there weaknesses
or gaps in your story? And what can you do over the summer to fill in these gaps
to truly stand out in your college application?
You’ve probably covered the obvious experiences, and so has every other kid
who serves inner-city youth or is interested in politics. Start to do some research
into how the organizations manage their services – the behind-the-scenes boring
day-to-day activities necessary to run any business. These are the experiences that
most kids avoid if they are thinking about them at all. And like it or not, this
becomes your opportunity to truly stand out when the college admissions counselors
talk about your application.
Completing Your Story
What can you do this summer to add an experience that strengthens the core of your
personal story that no other student will have on their college application? Identifying
that experience, and finding a way to add this to your story, is the single most
important thing you can do to prepare for the college application. If working with
inner-city youth is part of your story, ask the organizations you volunteer with
if you can participate in a quarterly board meeting. Ask the chairperson on the
board if you could take them to lunch and ask questions about how to measure the
effectiveness of the organization – what makes them successful, and how do
they know? Work with the managers to develop volunteer schedules. Sit with the marketing
department or fundraisers as they develop advertising and fundraising materials
to send to donors. These are the sorts of activities that will make your story complete
in an amazing way. Most other students will not pay such close attention to rounding
out their story in a way that the colleges care about. You’ll stand head and
shoulders above in the college admissions process.
Then make sure you get this experience on your CollegeTicket activities resume,
and get your resume in shape for your college applications.
On Another Note - AP Exams
On another note, you’ll want to finish your year strong. If you’ve taken
AP courses make sure you get in touch with your AP coordinator to get scheduled
for the May exams. You don’t want to miss those.
As always, you can contact me at
firstname.lastname@example.org with questions that we can answer in a future newsletter.
Have a great week!
President and Founder,