I refuse to say that summer is almost over. I like to keep it alive through September at least. But the reality is that in just a few weeks, traffic will no longer flow to the ocean, rather it will be stopped by school busses and parent pick-up lines.

We do have time to wrap up a few items before you head into your senior year. And we think this last year of high school should be EPIC, so let’s get moving and take some things off of your list of to-dos.

Here is your essential late summer checklist:

1. Register for one more ACT or SAT if you think you can improve your super score.

With a bit of focus and some help from Khan Academy, you may be able to inch your test scores up a bit, which will always help. Some schools still require test scores in order to qualify for merit aid. Going TEST OPTIONAL is a “thing” but a strong test score is a “better thing.”

2. Note the deadlines for your college applications. Submit any schools with Rolling Admissions ASAP. Know your RD, ED, EA, REA…

Rolling Admissions is a great way to get an answer early in the game. Not sure what the timing is for each type of application? Read our article: The Dating Game of College ApplicationsĀ 

3. Follow up on teacher recommendations and make sure your counselor knows you.

It is a good idea to follow up on the requests we made last spring. Teachers may be overwhelmed with the number of requests they get, so standing out and giving them interesting information about you will help. Making an appt to see your counselor and share your college list, your plans and update them on your journey will help quite a bit. Read: How To Get a Great Recommendation

4. Timing and Preparation- The Common App (or other college applications)

We have been working together to gather the information that will fill your application. This slow process allows for us to really dive deep into what you have done with your free time. It is important to fill it out in a way that differentiates you in the college application process. Follow the rules. Answer everything truthfully and use the HELP button if you get confused. How to be “not so common?”

5. Check your transcript!

It is up to you to make sure the information that is getting sent to each college is correct. Many schools look at class rank, size, etc. and you want your place to be accurately shown. It is also a good time to confirm your senior year classes. Remember, college will still see that first quarter/trimester, especially if you opt for regular decision deadlines.

6. The Personal Essay and Supplements

If you are working with us, you have your personal essay in the works and have most likely completed several revisions by now. You really need to lock those down so that you can see what supplemental essays will be required at each of the schools where you apply. There can be no additional writing, or there may be the “why this college/major” essay, the community or diversity essay, or a creative writing exercise. Manage your workload!

9. See Schools- VISIT (and follow the COVID guidelines)

You don’t know what you don’t know. Do not listen to sideline chatter or to the US News and World Report rankings. Do your due diligence and research the schools where you are interested. Use Naviance to find similar schools. Work with us as we have been to over 500 campuses and have many tools that we use to find the right fit for you. Don’t only look at the “USUAL SUSPECTS”, be bold, be different, be your best advocate and visit every school close to you so that you understand what is out there for you.