“Demystifying the College Admissions Process”
The whole college admission process has gotten out of hand!
When I was in high school, back in the eighties, we didn’t even discuss college with anyone until senior year. We took the SAT once and the majority of us did not prep for it. Back then, we only applied to a couple colleges and didn’t think twice about the outcomes because community college would be just fine too. Flash forward thirty years and my, how things have changed! Many of us now have high school students of our own and need of a little more guidance than what we received back in the day of big hair, parachute pants and legwarmers.
The amount of stress that families are feeling throughout this process today is unprecedented. The “machine” college admission has evolved into something almost unfathonable and our lack of time to understand how it really works plagues us. And to make matters more complicated, we’re not sure what they really want from the applying student.
Well, for the majority of us, it doesn’t have to be this way! There are over 4,000 colleges in the U.S. and hundreds of them accept most applicants. Knowing the basics of the college admissions process and setting realistic goals to complete tasks can help ease the stress. And this is where I come in… Each month, I will hope to take the mystery out of college admissions by breaking down an important piece of the process. Together, we can make the college planning process manageable, attainable, and fun! Some of the college planning topics ahead are:
• Grade level planning and how it can drive the process
• The most important factors in college admissions
• Standardized testing – the old and the new
• Building your extracurricular resume
• Demonstrated leadership and service
• Discovering your passion through self-reflection
• Writing your personal statement
• Finding your best-fit college
• Building connections and utilizing your network
• Financial aid and scholarships
For this month, all I really want you, and your student, to understand is that THERE IS a college for every student… a good college where your son or daughter will be productive and happy. Knowing what type of college you want to explore (city or suburb, large or small, north or south, public or private) will help you begin to create your college list. Don’t worry about knowing what you want to be when you grow up or what you plan to major in. Chances are you’ll be like every other normal student and change your major three times. (P.S.The majority of college graduates are not even employed directly in their field of study!)
So, the pressure is off, let’s have some fun with the process…the world is your oyster…open your mind, explore your passions, and together we can find your pearl.
Laura J. Blanche, M. Ed.
Blanche College Consulting, President