Congratulations to all of you for making it this far in high school! You are now officially a senior! Before you do anything else, be very proud of yourself and give yourself a well-deserved round of applause. You are fast approaching the finish line! Before you get too comfortable this summer, though, let me be the one to tell you that there is still more work to be accomplished. Senior year will be even busier than your junior year if you can believe that, so it is best to get a head start! The timeline below will help you stay on track and organized on your way to college!
Here are your action items for summer:
- Summer Activities: Try to get involved in some meaningful activities – “meaningful” being the operative word here. Find activities that reflect your passions and the values you truly believe in. Do not enroll in a class, for example, just to impress colleges. Make sure whatever you do tells a story about who you are as a person. Keep in mind that when it comes to activities, colleges value quality over quantity, which means that it is better to have fewer activities with deeper commitment than just a laundry list that consists of ten activities that obviously serve no purpose other than padding your resume.
- Common App: Common App goes live on August 1st. Create an account on commonapp.org and fill in general personal information. Identify which colleges on your list participate in Common App and which supplements each college requires. Summer would be a good time start working on your resume so that you can start filling out the “Activities Section” of your Common App. Remember that on July 28th, the application will shut down for the yearly rollover. If you start filling out your application now, your information should be saved, and it should automatically rollover to the next cycle without any issues, but make sure to double check that nothing has been lost just to be on the safe side when the system goes live on August 1st.
- College List: Finalize your college list. Identify Early Decision (ED) (if applicable), Early Action (EA), and Regular Decision (RD) schools. Make sure you have a well-balanced list of reach, target, and safety schools.
- Personal Statement: Brainstorm and come up with the theme. Write multiple drafts and finalize.
- Supplemental Essays: When Common App reopens on August 1st, college-specific questions will be ready for the 2021-2022 application cycle. Start working on your supplemental essays. Writing is a long and daunting process that requires multiple edits and revisions. Do not try to finalize an essay at one sitting. Sleep over it and read it aloud with a fresh mind and sharper set of eyes the next morning. Better yet, ask a teacher or a school counselor to read it and give you feedback. Be patient with yourself and give yourself credit for every supplemental essay you complete.
- SAT/ACT Prep: According to FairTest, The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, 1,500+ US colleges and universities have announced that they will not be requiring standardized test scores from the Class of 2022. However, some colleges on your list might still require a test score for admission or merit aid purposes. Do not take a chance with this and just be prepared. Along the way, you might decide to add a college to your list only to realize that it is too late to satisfy their standardized testing requirement. I would strongly recommend creating a free account on Khan Academy (if you do not already have an account) and start practicing at no cost. I have received a lot of positive feedback from my students about the customized practice schedule Khan Academy offers, and I have seen many students boost their scores just by self-practicing every day.
Here are the upcoming SAT/ACT dates:
Here at EdMission Possible, we guide our students throughout every aspect of the college admissions process. Our Student-Centered College CounselingTM model is geared towards the holistic approach employed in college admission decisions. We know what colleges are looking for, but we also know your individual needs. Call us today to find out how we can help you stand out in your applications by also helping you stay true to your identity. We are here for you if you need assistance in planning meaningful summer activities. Whatever you are doing and wherever you are headed, make sure to have fun! You deserve it…
Burcak Deniz Cakir
Independent Educational Consultant, 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.