August is on the horizon and will soon be here. All you rising high school seniors know what that means: school looms. Many of you have been actively involved in the college process already, having worked with your counselors to craft a meaningful and challenging course schedule. Your planning may have begun as far back as junior high school.
Most of you who are planning applications to competitive colleges, or even so-called “elite” colleges, no doubt began your planning in 9th grade, the beginning of your high school career. Your planning may have already included college visits and detailed research regarding finding the best match between your needs and colleges’ abilities to meet them. I’ve written at length here and on College Confidential about the preparation cycle, those actions that well-prepared applicants should take to make their college decisions count.
Speaking of preparatory actions, one of the best actions rising seniors can take, as you head toward the end of summer and the start of senior year, is to take inventory of where you are and where you’ve been with your overall academic and extracurricular profile. So, what I’d like to present today is a kind of “roundup” form into which you can put all the important data that comprises who you are as a potential college applicant.
The purpose of this End of Summer Inventory (pioneered by College Confidential’s Sally Rubenstone) is to give you a comprehensive overview, on one page, of what you have accomplished so far in your high school career. It also serves the dual role of showing you what you haven’t done and likely will need to do early on in your senior year.
So, if you’re motivated to take my advice and assess your accomplishments to date, copy the following form and paste it into a Word document. Once you have done that, you can begin to compile your data.
After you’ve finished entering all your information and double-checked it for accuracy, you may want to print out the finished form and give it to your school’s college counselor for his/her information. Granted, your counselor has access to all this information, but it is not likely available in such a convenient, concise format. This will also exhibit your proactive attitude toward your college goals. That may endear you to your counselor who, as you may recall, will be responsible for providing your school’s “flagship” recommendation for all your college applications. That certainly can’t hurt.
So, here’s the form. Consider its advantages and fill it out as completely as possible. More »