During the lazy, hazy days of summer the last thing that most high school students want to think about is anything that resembles school work. Yet during this down time, it is the best time to do some planning for your future college plans and get a bit ahead of the curve. This week I am mostly speaking to rising seniors (players that have completed their junior year of high school). If you are a freshman or sophomore (or parent or coach of those), file this one away for the future.
One of the most enjoyable years in your school career should be your senior year in high school. You have worked your way up through 12 years of school and now are sitting at the top of the youth education ladder. For many students in the USA, they may not matriculate to post secondary education and high school is the highest point in their educational careers. So graduating high school is a big deal and it should be celebrated and senior year should be enjoyed.
Many folks are planning to go on to college and further education, so high school is just a stepping stone to greater things in the future. However, you don’t want your senior year to be pressure packed months of anxiety about college applications, deadlines and scrambling to figure out what to do once you have graduated. And since many of you will be playing soccer in the Fall at your high school, your schedules will be getting packed with practices and games and classes.
Before you know it, November will be here and you can really be scrambling. Here are some simple things that you can do now over the summer to get yourself ahead and allow you to enjoy senior year a little more.
First, make a list of deadlines. Some D3 schools have rolling admissions while others have specific deadlines. Some schools may also have deadlines for early decision or early action. From the list of schools that you are interested in, go to their websites or call them on the phone and find out when the deadlines are. Put them on your calendar so you know what your deadlines are!
Find out if there is an application fee. If so, is it waived before a certain date? If you are applying to 10 schools and they have a $50 application fee, that adds up to a lot of money. However if they will waive the fee if you apply before December 1st, you can save yourself $500 by getting all those applications in early. Lastly, find out if any of your schools accept the Common Application; you can save yourself time by recycling the same application to multiple schools.
Next are those dreaded essays. Most schools will ask you to write an essay as part of the application process. Again go to the websites and check what’s required for the application. If you need to write an essay, what better time to do it than over the summer. You can take your time, edit it, and rewrite it until you have a good quality, college level essay. You can have friends, family, or teachers review it for you too. If you spend 30 minutes a day for a week, you should be complete by weeks’ end. The beauty of this is that more than likely you can reuse this essay on multiple applications without a lot of rework. For more info on writing a good essay go to http://www.collegeboard.com/student/apply/essay-skills/
The bottom line is this— there is nothing more gratifying for a high school senior then to know where they are going for college. Once the pressure of that decision has been made, they can really relax and enjoy their senior year. By taking some steps over the summer and doing some preparation in advance, you can take some of the pressure off later.
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If you haven’t taken our survey about the Women’s World Cup, check it out to the right. So far the USA is the crowd favorite, but with a quarterfinal match against Brazil they have a tough road to the final.