When should a student start to think about colleges and the admission process?
Response by Dr. Rachelle Wolosoff
Timing is very important when thinking about college. Many parents wait until their student’s junior year in high school to begin thinking about colleges. They often rush to visiting colleges prior to understanding many things, including how their child learns best, in what environment and which schools are the best match for them.
Some of my students begin working with me in the 10th grade. Others wait until the 11th grade. I firmly believe that the earlier a student gets educated on what is coming down the road, the sooner the student can start preparing. When I say start preparing, I don’t mean for the application itself. I mean, for example, they become familiar as to how their grades and SAT/ACT scores actually impact their admission chances. They then have an opportunity and motivation to increase both. They learn why it’s important to network even at a young high school student’s age and with whom this might be valuable. They begin to understand why leadership work is valued and how they can go about obtaining such leadership experience.
There are many essays that students have to write when applying to college. Often it is not just the main Common Application essay. Many colleges have supplemental essays that are required and some which are optional (which generally means they should be written and submitted). Brainstorming ideas for all the essays take a lot of time and it’s best if they understand this.
So, the bottom line is staying organized and starting the process as early as possible, is generally very beneficial.
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