Many rising seniors may feel that they're running out of time, but the summer is an excellent place to prepare your student for the next step in their academic career. Here are a 7 practical steps rising seniors should do to prepare themselves for college admission.
1) Use the summer to prepare to take the SAT or ACT. The August SAT or the July ACT provides an excellent opportunity for students to do well because they can dedicate substantial time to studying without the added pressure of schoolwork. Ideally, students should practice every day practicing for tis all important exams. The more time you prepare for these exams, like any other test, you will do well.
2) Spend time writing the first drafts of the college admission essays. The essays can be found on the college website and/or a Google search. By completing the essays before the school year, students will have time to revise and reconsider their approach to the essay prompts. Students should familiarize themselves with the main essays and the supplemental essays. Some students read books or take college admission essay courses during the summer.
3) Start talking through a strategy for getting into college. Unfortunately, students don’t think of strategy when it comes to getting into college. Most young people assume they have the grades, and the test scores to get into a good college. As students assess their college candidacy the summer provides a good time to consider summer jobs, apprenticeships and possible involvement in activities that would give one the edge in admissions process. Strategy is important because on one hand students should be a good match for the college, yet at the same time students must also standout from all the other applicants. Standing-out may mean that students must do something extraordinary. The summer gives students time to start a new project or do something that will help them become a more desirable candidate.
4) Begin searching for scholarships. Typically, parents, and students do not think of scholarships, until after they've gotten into colleges, by then it is too late Scholarships should not be a last-minute concern. While it's true that most scholarships will be gained from the institution that you are going to, it's equally true that you can work to build a portfolio of smaller scholarships that will help you pay for your tuition, books or housing. Researching legitimate scholarships takes time and effort. While many deadlines will be in the fall, the summer is the best time to plan for these scholarships.
5) Enroll your student in a precollege enrichment program. While it may be too late to formally enroll in a pre-college program, many community colleges and online schools have dual course schedules for prospective students. There is also an array of online colleges and ancillary college credit programs.
6) The summer is also an excellent opportunity to visit colleges. You will experience the campus when it is beautiful and quiet. You will also have a time to speak one-on-one with students you may encounter, and, in general, professors are not stressed about meeting deadlines.
7) Build your college admissions team. Now, if you're in traditional school, the guidance counselor, or college advisor should be on your team. And you should figure out who else is on your team who else is helping you, who else is going to guide you who might you go to for a recommendation. And what kind of recommendation might they give. So, it's really to assess your team, you really should have already picked a team but if you haven't at this point is to assess your team and to keep your team going.
If you looking for more resources, check out my list of summer college prep classes on OutSchool.com.
Prof. Cheryl is a professor, author and homeschooling mom and the developer of the Young Author and College Prep Writing classes where through rigor , practice and targeted skill building, students develop their collegiate and creative writing skills. Visit www.Learn4college.com/about to learn more.
Overwhelmingly, time and time again, research has shown the ability to write well is key to overall college success. This is no surprise. After all, writing at its core is thinking on paper, and the ability to think and reason is what separates great students from mediocre performers. In my transition from high school teacher to college professor, I have noted five distinct differences in high school and college writing. By addressing these differences you can ensure a smoother transition to college level work because writing is needed for almost every class.
1) High school students write papers that are informative whereas college papers are explorative.
College students are expected to be embrace new concepts and expand upon those ideas in their papers. Most high school papers are generally informative. A high school teacher generally assigns students papers to check for their understanding. For instance, a high school teacher might ask a student to write a paper on the Civil War. The student is expected to regurgitate facts and ideologies discussed in class. A history professor, on the other hand, wants the student to discover new ideologies about the Civil War that were not discussed or explored in class. Furthermore, the student may be asked to research another war and note political, economic or other similarities to the Civil War.
2) High school students write general thesis statements, whereas college students are expected to form solid argumentative thesis statements.
In high school students wrote very general thesis statements, if they wrote them at all. Students might write: I am going to discuss the way Romeo and Juliet interacted with their families. However, a college thesis is much more specific and directive and really drives the paper. For instance, a college thesis might be: It will be proven that the friar's lack of religious influence caused the death of Romeo. The college thesis should be opinionated and it should be written in such a way that it could be challenged by someone with an opposing view.
3) High school students may surf the web and find sources to use in their paper
whereas college professors will only accept scholarly research sources.
In high school students Googled and used popular sources like magazines, websites and books in their papers. For the most part, if students did not plagiarize, these sources were accepted as authoritative. College writing, on the other hand, requires the use of scholarly sources. Scholarly sources are research references that are peer-reviewed or an articles or books from an academic publisher. A website has to meet certain criteria to be scholarly.
4) High school students were taught to write in a simple form, whereas college
writing requires more invention.
In high school most students were taught to write the typical five paragraph essay. This essay generally included an introduction, conclusion and three body paragraphs and each body paragraph elaborated on each point. This was the way most students prepared for the writing portion of the SAT. In College writing students are expected to write expansively and decipher each point, and the five paragraph essay just does not meet the standard.
5) High school students write papers using a loose form of MLA or generally no
form at all, whereas college professors require strict adherence to form.
Students should know how to cite in Modern Language Association (MLA), Association of Psychological (APA), Chicago, etc. The font should always be 12 point. The research within the paper should be cited a specific way.
These five areas, if addressed will help students to write well in college and beyond. Adult learners, especially those returning to school and those taking online classes, often struggle repeatedly with some of these issues. However, once students master these skills they quickly transform into strong students. All of these issues are addressed in Collegiate Learning's book, Write to Achieve and in our college preparatory literature and writing classes.
Prof. Cheryl is a professor, author and homeschooling mom and the developer of the Young Author and College Prep Writing classes where through rigor , practice and targeted skill building, students develop their collegiate and creative writing skills. Visit www.Learn4college.com