College Prep – Tips to get started

I often am asked by students of all ages- when should we start looking at colleges? My answer is anytime-BUT- the most relevant time is when you are in your last two years of high school when you have a bigger sense of what you are looking for! I usually say to start with looking at a small (under 2000 students), medium (2,000-10,000 students) and large (10000 students plus!) campus. If you are doing a road trip this summer, it is always good to do at least a drive-by if you are near a college campus. And if you are a 10th, 11th or 12th grader do a more formal visit and go to the admission office for an information and campus tour. Remember, college campuses during the summer often seem sleepy, but it is still good to visit when you are nearby. During your junior year, plan to go back while school is in session to see the campus fully in action.

Here at HTEA, there is never a dull moment in the college office… over the summer the college advisors are working with the Class of 2014 students and parents for a pep-talk going into the all-important junior year. While no big college decisions are made in this conference, students leave with a sense of what needs to be done along the way in terms of building their resume, coursework, researching college options and preparing for standardized testing. The college advisors also begin to get a sense of what might be good ‘fit’ colleges for their advisees!

Knowing that the fall ramps up quickly for seniors, we encourage students to use the summer to polish their resumes and college essays that they had drafted last spring. Sometimes the college advisors have students who will send us essays to review ‘virtually’- something we always welcome to ensure everything is in the works for putting together the college application. Many students, both from Holy Trinity and other local schools, will attend College Application Boot Camp at the end of July, in which guest staff from college admission offices come for the final day to act as essay reviewers.

Alison Bell
Director of College Counseling
Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy

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