Junior Parents! 2021 At-A-Glance...
Now that we are a few weeks into the New Year, I hope everyone is well and looking forward to the upcoming months. I thought it would be good to give you a quick snap shot of the coming year in terms of what to expect. I am very structural in my approach, but bear in mind that the following is all subject to the needs of each student and family.
Jan-March: test prep for student. Either with my tutor, Sally, a tutor of your choosing or working with an online resource, students are working on the test of their choice. Meanwhile, I am working on list according to input from student and family. They will continue to research schools during this time as well.
April-June: student is testing. Of course the outcome of testing will inform the school list to some degree, but I usually have a pretty good idea of how this is going to go by this time. The goal is to finish testing by the end of the junior year. I am finishing up the list and making a report to go over with the family. This is a good time for adjustments to the list. Which honestly is happening up until the day of application submission. Students/families add schools at the last minute all the time. We will also discuss early action, early decision, and regular decision.
June-Sept: optimally student will get common app essay written during the summer months. Does this happen often? No. It is a process and students struggle with this essay. It can take many iterations as this is the first time they are being asked to write about themselves. It is daunting to some. I am coaching them and editing their work as we go. We also begin setting up the Common Application.
Sept-Dec: applications are being worked on and supplemental essays are being written and edited by me. Timely submission of the applications is the students responsibility.
Virtual tours can be taken anytime as each school has them set up. There will be admission events held online too. This will be the responsibility of the student to sign up and attend them. As part of their research they are to be doing virtual tours. Many students have done some already. I remind them at each meeting to be doing these.
In person visits: best to do in the spring of junior year, but that is still not an option at many schools. Spring break used to be the hot time to visit. Honestly, in person visits can be done anytime, and spring can be busy. There is no "best" time for them, so I encourage every family to do what is best according to their schedules and needs.
That breaks down how I approach the process. Of course, flexibility is the name of the game. Some students procrastinate, some get it things done right away! Every student is different. My job is to meet them where they are and work with their strengths to make the best application possible for them.
I recognize I see less of the parents at this time due to Covid. I do try to communicate with you after every meeting, and now that seniors have finished up and my wrist is mostly healed, this should be more timely from now on. I am available during the week if you want to ask questions by email or phone call about the process.
I would also like to keep you up to date on this years application process. It has certainly been a difficult time for those with selective colleges and universities on their list. Test optional policies at highly selective schools has thrown things off kilter, so I will keep you informed as to what is changing in college admissions as I find out. It will be important for every student to have a well-balanced list of schools this fall. It is critical each student/family has choices a year from now they are happy with!
Best to all, and if you have any questions about the above, please reach out. It is a broad-strokes look the coming year, but hopefully it gives you some structure as we begin the process in earnest.
PS - From art, to music, robotics and academic subjects, there is something for everyone in this Online Courses & Programs for the Summer & School Year list. A few have January deadlines, so if you see something of interest look into it soon.