Admit it. Start your engines

Admit it: The college application season is now. Many juniors and seniors, although still not fully returned to school, are beginning the process of applying to colleges and universities. The college admissions process is not simple and procrastinating adds ample stress. If you’re the parent of a rising high school senior and you are either avoiding the subject of college or your child seems unmotivated about the process, you have a long road ahead.

To better navigate the admissions road, start your engines. Beginning the application process early will assist in eliminating added stress, give you time to prepare for a thorough college search and give you an advantage over the three million students applying to school during the 2013-2014 admission cycle. Crisp Consulting + Coaching would like to offer a few tips for the college application process. These admission strategies greatly assist our students and families as they realize their college dreams.

Start using a calendar. The 2013-2014 Common Application launched on August 1, 2013 and many of the additional supplements will be active by September 1, 2013 Shortly after, university-specific and supplemental applications will also be available. Test dates are available for the ACT, AP exams and PLAN, PSAT and SAT. A calendar will help you understand the timeline of college admissions. Although we create custom calendars for our clients, you can easily craft a calendar that assist you to schedule college interviews, plan for campus visits and prepare for application deadlines. This calendar will be an essential tool for your application process.

Start creating an activities vita and brag sheet. A well-designed activities vita and brag sheet has myriad uses: applications, interviews, letters of recommendations and scholarship competitions. A simple design can effectively convey the athletics, clubs, volunteer opportunities and work that have filled your time outside of the classroom. Do not forget your summer studies, employment and honors. A context for how you filled your free time will strongly position you in the admissions process.

Start focusing your college list. Narrow your college application list to 7- 10 schools. This list should target colleges of the best academic, social and financial fit. Avoid classifying these schools as “safeties,” “reach,” or “sure things.” Your list should be about fit and the better crafted your list, the more likely you will have admissions success.

Start making contacts. Although fall is the ideal time for campus visits, late summer can produce insightful tours and understanding of college campuses. Most universities have full summer semesters and hosts uniques summer programs. Contact your regional admissions representative to introduce yourself and determine when the most ideal visit could be. Your regional representative will be a great advocate and resource in the admissions cycle.

Start taking tests. Your junior year should have completed with all application testing finished. Yet, if you need to take the ACT, SAT or the SAT Subject Tests in the fall, take a look at the testing dates.  Also, if you are applying Early Action or Early Decision that you’ll need to submit test results from the September ACT and October SAT test dates.

Start seeking quality guidance. Regular meetings with your guidance counselor and/or independent educational consultant will be essential. These professionals are versed in the arena of college admissions and can assist you in understanding the application process. Finding a consultant can be critical in the admissions process as it is both competitive and complex. Consult the Higher Education Consultants Association , the Independent Educational Consultants Association and the National Association for College Admission Counseling to read how Crisp Consulting + Coaching is ranked as your best choice for an Independent Educational Consultant.

Crisp Consulting + Coaching has information regarding admission, education and school options on our Facebook page, Google+, Twitter and YouTube Channel.

Brian D. Crisp is an independent educational consultant with Crisp Consulting + Coaching who works with families in Asheville, Charleston, Raleigh-Durham and Savannah to optimize and realize their unique educational fit and admission success. As a former professor, administrator, and teacher, Brian has the knowledge and skills to counsel families in all aspects of educational planning.

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