Greetings Students and Families,
College Applications and College Admissions has many moving parts– and all teens and their families should be well informed to minimize stress and create a joyful path throughout high school leading to a successful undergraduate experience. Whether you’re seeking college application help in Boca Raton, FL or near the Front Range in Boulder or Metro Denver or anywhere , it’s
about this time of the academic year that students and families often begin thinking about all things “college related” –as students prepare for potential spring campus visits, and summer plans– if they haven’t already been made –take on a new sense of urgency. All students are also beginning to explore what courses they will take for the subsequent academic year (my next blog will focus on AP/AICE/IB and “Choice” programs).
I invite you to follow my blog where I update content every few days on a variety of topics related to high school and college admissions. During 2019, my resource on Campus Visits was one of my most read newsletters and blogs.
Please click here: CAMPUS VISITS
(Guess which campus? Hint–It’s snow covered at the moment.)
So let’s talk about SUMMER 2020!
Should your high school student attend a Collegiate Summer Program?
Unless you were momentarily in a black hole (pun intended read on)…no matter where you receive your daily news– I’m certain you didn’t overlook the story this week about 17 year-old Wolf Cukier–an aspiring astro-physicist who discovered a planet during the third day of his NASA internship last summer. Yes – that’s exceptional! It’s also inspirational – but internships and outcomes such as these are rare and unexpected – so let’s return to earth and talk about your teen’s summer!
More realistically- teens can easily become engaged in impactful volunteering, a meaningful summer job or an intriguing collegiate summer program — any of these possibilities can define a summer sparked by exploration, discovery and possibly add value to college applications.
As a parent and as an educator- I can tell you that summer is about recharging the soul and sparking discovery that continues to position our teens for finding their path. Confidence, independence and motivation can only emerge from within – but can be fostered with supportive guidance.
For Juniors (’21) thinking about the college application process and their college essays (as teachers and school GCs may begin work on college essays sometime this semester), summer experiences are important to further define interests and allow college admissions officers to understand your emerging interests given how you spend your time during summers (many an essay prompt asks that very question!).
Is Your Student on Target?! Joyful?
Refine your student’s Strategic Educational Plan:
College Admissions Advising – with College Consultant Bonnie Rabin, PhD
Reduce College Application Admissions Guesswork:
Attendance and success at a genuine (see below) credit-bearing collegiate summer program can undo and overshadow a less than stellar high school GPA. From an admissions perspective, a prediction about each applicant’s ability to succeed as an undergraduate must be made. Successful completion of a college course with a demonstrated academic transcript reduces the guess work in your application.
Many colleges require you to submit two teacher recommendations to your Common or Coalition Application. These tend to be a very insignificant part of the overall evaluation process as most recommendations are favorable (similar).
Enhance Your Activities Resume:
Some students may attend high schools with limited extracurricular activities related to their intended major. For example, aspiring scientists or physicians may not have opportunities to participate in national scientific research competitions. Aspiring engineers may be attending a high school lacking the budget to offer a FIRST Robotics team or even AP Computer Science. Attending a college summer program enhances the exposure to activities and experiences that build your activities resume, add meaningful inputs to your Common Application Activities section and provide experiences to support the content of your college specific supplemental essays.
PLEASE CLICK TO VIEW:
Topic for a College Application Essay:
We discussed this above– with so many colleges asking you to elaborate on your academic interests- taking a summer class can not only expand your interests- but show you have the abilities to succeed in challenging and relevant coursework.
Build Your Portfolio – Conduct Scientific Research or Enhance Art & Music Portfolios:
The work completed in some summer programs can be an important and valuable part of your college application. The Common Application includes a section allowing for uploads of work. Music and art students present portfolios. Aspiring liberal arts majors can submit finished written work including essays and research papers. Potential STEM majors are encouraged to participate in national competitions in science and engineering. Computer scientists and engineers can generate finished code and other products which demonstrate creativity and talents in the intended field of study.
Emotional and Academic Growth:
|Dr. Rabin visiting Cornell Summer College|
FIRST DRAFT OF YOUR COLLEGE ESSAY:
Wait for it-you’ve been wondering about that “admissions bump”?!! There’s no guarantee of admissions in any setting. That said, the successful completion of academic coursework coupled with a recommendation from a campus professor will increase the chances of admission. Some colleges even offer non-binding Early Action to students attending summer programs. If there is a clear first choice on your short list of colleges, attending a summer program is strategically advantageous for both the Early Decision and Regular Admissions cycles.
Myths – Heads Up!
Is Your High School Student on Target- Curious, Independent?
Build your personalized Educational & College Admissions Plan —
Discover and Explore with College Advisor Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D.