Long the main stay for keeping up to date 24/7 with their friends, social media is now helping applicants earn admission to their dream colleges. ZeeMee, a social media site dedicated exclusively to undergraduate and graduate school admissions, allows applicants to create a free profile where they can post a video, photos, awards, and other information to show their personality and bring their application to life. Applicants can share their profile with admissions officers by putting a link to it in their college applications. ZeeMee is a great opportunity for applicants to stand out from a sea of highly qualified applications and show their unique personality, interests, and goals.
Parents, let this also serve as a reminder to ensure your child’s social media profiles are private and present her in a positive light. Admissions officers are known to peruse applicant’s Facebook profiles. Should one find any posts or pictures that are inconsistent with a college’s expectations of its incoming class, it could harm your child’s odds of admission.
Colleges will ask your child to list awards or recognition from activities she participated in during high school. Big or small, your child should keep track of all of her accomplishments in a notebook to refer to when she completes the applications. Listing accomplishments in her academic and extracurricular pursuits will help your child demonstrate the value she will add to the colleges in those areas that she applies to and increase her odds of admission.
Tenth and eleventh graders: it is time to sign up for the PSAT (pre-SAT) and PreACT exams. The PSAT and PreACT are excellent opportunities to assess which college entrance exam your child prefers. Save the score report that your child will receive after she takes the test. Your family can use the score report to assess her strengths and weaknesses to implement a test prep program.
Both the PSAT and PreACT simulate the SAT and ACT exams and give your child experience taking the test. Scores are not reported directly to the colleges so your child has nothing to lose by taking the test. They are both useful to see which one your child feels more comfortable with.
The PSAT also serves as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Juniors taking the test that score at the top of the applicant pool can qualify for substantial scholarships (read: up to full tuition) from third parties and colleges. This provides even more of a reason to take the PSAT.
If you have any questions about the PSAT or PreACT, contact your child’s guidance counselor. Many high schools administer the test, and if it is not offered at your child’s high school, they should be able to tell you where in your community it is offered.
Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, which means that high school students are back in school. Parents and students may be tempted to sign up for as many Advanced Placement (“AP”) or honors classes that they can fit in their schedule. AP and honors classes are meant to be much more challenging than regular classes. Your child should not be in a rush to take the most advanced classes she can as quickly as possible. If earning an ‘A’ in AP Spanish seems to be too tough at the start of this school year, consider Spanish IV for this year and AP Spanish for the following year. The same rule could apply to AP Calculus AB. If math is not your child’s strongest suit, Pre Calculus Honors might make more sense this year, followed by AP Calculus AB the following year.
Creating a compelling (read: as close to Straight A’s as possible) transcript is a marathon, not a sprint. Play to your child’s strengths and encourage your child to take a schedule that is manageable and one that she can earn the best grades possible.