Applying to colleges can be a stressful process under the best of circumstances. In 2020, with education turned on its ear, the admission process might seem near impossible. Standardized tests are canceled for the spring, high schools are closed changing the dynamics of grades and extracurriculars, and colleges are shifting application requirements. From week to week, it can be hard to keep track of all the changes. So, what’s a high school junior to do?
Focus on what you can control. Minimize your stress by focusing on the parts of the application process that you can control. Here are some suggestions of the things you can do now for your college applications.
- Start your Common App Essay. Haven’t started any college essays? Now is a great time! Look at the Common App essay topics – the personal statement has a choice of 7 prompts. Look at the schools you are considering and find out if they require additional essays.
- Register for Senior-Year Classes. We may not know what fall will bring in terms of in-person classes. However, you want to have a challenging senior-year schedule regardless. Your senior-year schedule may be extra important if your school has adopted pass/fail grades for this year.
- Study for Standardized Tests. Although spring SAT and ACT dates were canceled, and many colleges have adopted test-optional policies, odds are you may still need to take the SAT or ACT. ACT is planning to offer tests in June and July, while the earliest SAT is scheduled for August. Use this summer to do extra test prep especially if you will be able to take the test only once. Here are two free SAT/ACT free practice resources:
Although it may feel like the admission process for the coming fall will be anything but normal, trust that colleges and admission officers are still looking for the same qualities: good students and good citizens. Getting a head start on some parts of your college application will allow you to be more adaptable this fall as the process continues to develop.
At EdMission Possible, our customized virtual college counseling services make it possible to work with students from all states across the U.S. as well as many countries around the world. Social distancing is the key to fighting this vicious virus – A.K.A. COVID-19, and we are here to help you do that with our online counseling services while we guide you to put your best foot forward in your college applications. We will get through this and come out even stronger. We will prevail. This, too, shall pass. In the meantime, do not delay your college plans.
Looking forward to brighter days…
Happy college planning!
Burcak Deniz Cakir
Founder and President | EdMission Possible
Burcak Deniz Cakir has a B.A. in Foreign Language Education, an M.A. in English Language Teaching, and an M.B.A., all of which have laid the solid foundation for her professional experiences as an educator. She has completed the College Counseling Program at UCLA, which is known to be the most prestigious certificate program in the profession. She has previously taught English as a Foreign/Second Language (EFL/ESL) in Turkey and in the U.S. at Virginia Tech, Harcum College, Rutgers University (Newark and New Brunswick Campuses), and Pace University. Having taught EFL/ESL at the college level for over 20 years, Burcak can communicate effectively with college-age students from different countries. She is bilingual in Turkish and English. Her extensive experience with international students from many countries including but not limited to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Korea, and China has given her the opportunity to understand their unique problems that domestic students may not be facing throughout the college admissions process, such as but not limited to extra testing requirements (TOEFL, IELTS), the translation of high school transcripts and recommendation letters, different financial forms and statements required, visa issues, being homesick, culture shock, etc.
Burcak is an Associate Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and a Voting Member of the International Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC). She currently lives in Edison, New Jersey with her husband, two daughters, and her four-legged son. In her free time, she can be found spending time with her family, reading (lots!) about college admissions and college essays, watching her favorite movies, getting lost in design magazines, and decorating her house.
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