So as December 15th rolls around and most are preparing for the holidays, December has a different meaning to the high school senior. On or around December 15th is that fateful day when your early decision email should arrive. Are you in? Are you done? Are you deferred or, even worse, have you been rejected?
This year I have been blessed with admissions for my seniors to Wake Forest, Duke, Harvard, Penn State, Indiana, University of Miami, NYU, Ohio Wesleyan, and Michigan State, just to name a few. We are still waiting for some of the larger public schools to release their decisions as I am hoping for a handful of University of Michigan and University of Virginia acceptances. How, you might ask, does this happen in such a competitive environment? How is it that the vast majority of our seniors achieve their top choices or close to it? It’s a simple answer: Preparation, Planning, Strategizing, and Realistic expectations!
I do not have a specialty in my college counseling practice; I enjoy the diversity of counseling the gamut. I have students that are thrilled to be admitted to a test optional university and others equally so to be admitted to Harvard and Duke. Every student is an individual with a story that needs to be told. And once it is, there are a host of schools that will meet their criteria; that’s the journey we embark on together.
Through understanding what kind of environment works well for a student and their interests of study, we cast the net wide and reel it in over the course of junior year. Strategic visits, questions, and thinking are all planned so that students and parents begin to understand exactly what they are looking for. By late spring, we are brainstorming the common application essay, and by mid summer we are finished. When applications go live on August 1st, we are ready to solidify the list, brainstorm, and draft supplemental essays. By or before October 15th, we are pressing “SEND.” My job is to make this process less stressful; your job is to trust the process and know that it typically works out as it should.