We know how important your involvement is in your child's education - we also know how difficult it can be to stay on top of all of the important steps in planning and preparing for college.  

Below you'll find this month's content - LEARN (info to know), DO (action to take), and TIPS (insights for success)


LEARN

The Common App & School-Specific Apps!

Think back to when you were a senior in high school.  Life was different.  Technology has changed so much for all of us、 but some of the most impacted are our kids – they don’t know life without technology.  So it is only fitting that the college application process has followed suit. 

Not only are college applications now online, there is more than one type of application that can be filled out and submitted.  One thing you will need to do is determine the one that your college requests. The two choices* are a School-specific Application and the Common Application. 

A school-specific application can be accessed from a school’s main web page and is only accepted by that specific college, most commonly state universities.  Your student will fill out basic data (name, address, phone number, major, etc.) for each.  Many do not have an essay requirement.

On the other side, more selective schools ask the student to complete the Common Application.  This form, also online, is a complete personal, familial, and educational history, which includes an essay component.  Unlike the school-specific application, this form is used by over 500 colleges and universities and, once completed, can be sent to any of them.  Additionally, each college may also add on their own questionnaire and additional essays questions. 

Is one application better than another?  No.  However, if a student applying to more than three schools that accept the Common Application, it is less time consuming to file just one form vs. filing them all individually. 

All colleges, no matter what application form they utilize, will also have you request that official transcripts be sent from your high school directly to the institution to which you are applying and that you have your standardized test scores sent directly from ACT or College Board (SAT).   Many colleges also require an application fee, ranging from $35 - $100.  

*There are additional types of college applications, such as system applications, used by all the schools in one state system, such as the state schools in California, and the Universal Application, is like the Common Application, however, accepted by far fewer institutions.


DO

Help them get started!

The Common App is used by many colleges and universities across the country.  Besides the essay, the most time consuming part is the Information Sheet.

This information sheet contains the contact information, family specifics, demographic information and even general transcript information.

While your son or daughter could certainly complete much of this on their own, take a few minutes and complete that information sheet together.  These are important milestones in the college planning journey and the second set of eyes can catch any minor mistakes!


TIP #1

Time Management - Helping your student manage their schedules and time is important (even as Seniors!).  Help them allocate the right amount of time for school and activities, based on their level of importance.  

TIP #2

Friends and Frenemies - There is a vast difference.  Help your student understand the difference.  True friends share trust and build each other up, while frenemies knock each other down and sap your self-confidence.  Help your student avoid toxic friendships. 


Know a school that could use some college readiness support?

We also offer Student Curriculum to schools and provide Parent Education on College Planning.  Additionally, we work with schools and districts to increase the college readiness of their students.  Learn more by clicking here.