Monday, October 6, 2008

Get Cracking With College Applications


So as it is fall, it is time for seniors to take a serious look at college applications. By now they should have downloaded application forms and have looked at the various questions covering EC’s, personal statements, art supplements and so on.

The common application is not a complicated form. It asks questions about the student’s personal data, parents’ data, extra curricular activities, academic subjects taken, summer activities, test scores and of course the personal statement. This is information that the student ought to have at his finger tips. It is important however to present the information in a way that gives the admissions officer a clear idea of who you are.

I know many students who are applying to ivy league universities come to this site. Regardless of your college choices, if you’d like to see an example of a completed application by a student who matriculated to Harvard no less, I suggest you take a look at I Need a Pencil. Jason Shah’s site is chock full of information and resources for students prepping for the SAT and applying to college. He offers lessons, practice tests, mentor communication, email support and best of all it is FREE. He even presents his own application to Harvard for all to see. His application highlights the importance of conveying to the college admission more than statistics. He conveys through his short answer statement, his interests through his EC’s and his personal statement, a clear and cohesive depiction of himself that shows Jason as a leader, innovator and budding entrepreneur.

Jason's application reminds me of a bit of advice I received and told my son some time ago. When preparing the college application, students should bear in mind the theme of the application. For example, if you are leaning towards the sciences show how you have demonstrated your interest in science. Your EC's, your teacher's recommendation, your short answer can all contribute together to communicate a main message that you would like to send about yourself as a budding scientist or actor.

This suggests that a methodical approach is recommended. Therefore kids should make lists of their interests and activities and carefully consider them when addressing those areas over which they have some control such as the personal statement, short statement and choosing teachers for recommendations. Also a reminder, November, December and in a few cases January are the only dates left for sitting SAT's if you applying for entry to college next fall . So get cracking. Ace those College Applications!

No comments: