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Countdown to college: A senior's fall to-do list

Lee Shulman Bierer, Tribune News Service on

Published in Education News

— Determine which schools offer Early Action.

— Decide if a binding Early Decision option at one college makes sense.

— Figure out which of the colleges on your final list are on the Common Application and which are not.

— Research the number of essays required or recommended by each college and create a document for each college listing their essay prompts and their deadlines.

— Set up accounts on each college’s website.

— Prepare a timeline of activity based on each college’s deadline.

— Brainstorm essay ideas for colleges with the earliest deadlines first.

— Write a first draft of essays.

— Edit essays and, yes, edit again.


— Ask a trusted source to review your essays.

— Meet with college representatives when they visit your school.

— Review and then order high school transcripts, Find out how your high school is sending transcripts to each college. (Most high schools are now transmitting transcripts electronically.)

— Prepare your résumé/brag sheet/activity list and give it to your recommenders.

— Research which colleges accept letters of recommendation, and find out how many they require and how many they will accept

— Ask teachers, coaches, advisers and employers for letters of recommendation.

— Begin researching scholarship opportunities,

After reading this, I hope all of you parents are now a little more sympathetic to the angst of being a high school senior.

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