Monday, May 13, 2013

Late Spring Recommendations for Juniors and their parents

This is a frantically busy time for most families with high school aged students.  But before leaving school for the summer, juniors and their parents should follow-up on a few tasks to prepare for the college application season in the fall. 

1) If possible, attend an event at your child’s school where high school seniors and/or their parents discuss their college search process.  Sequoia High School in Redwood City is offering a panel of senior students and their parents this Thursday, May 16 at 7 pm in Carrington Hall.  I’m sure you could attend even if your child is not a Sequoia student.

2) Remind your junior to ask or pre-ask teachers for recommendations this spring; some teachers limit the number of recommendations they will write and others like to plan ahead of time to gather better impressions of their students in order to write more specific letters.

3) Review the tests your child plans to take: SAT and/or ACT, any required subject tests; plan ahead for fall exam dates.

4) Encourage your child to develop a well-researched list of about 6-12 schools he/she is interested in ranging from safety schools to target and reach schools.  Ideally, the final list of schools to apply to should be around 8 schools, but this number can vary depending on a student’s fields of interests, athletic or other scholarships, and financial considerations.

5) Begin researching your family’s expected contribution to college costs.  You can visit college websites and use their financial adi calculators, visit the IES CollegeNavigator for more information about individual college’s financial aid statistics, and preview the 2012 FAFSA so you know what information you’ll need to provide when you fill out next year’s form in January. 

I’d also like to recommend College Funding Specialist Beatrice Schultz, who can help you determine the best financial plan for paying for college as well as how best to qualify for financial aid.

6) Encourage your junior to begin brainstorming and drafting college essays this summer; sign up for a Peninsula Young Writers workshop or consultation

Hang in there—summer is around the corner!

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