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7 Tips to Prepare Your Senior for the College Application Process

Mighty Mommy has been through the college application process 3 times. The excitement, the stress, the waiting - it can all be overwhelming. That's why today, she shares 7 tips to help make the experience as smooth and painless as possible for you and your high school senior.

By
Cheryl Butler
September 30, 2013
Episode #249

Page 1 of 2

The new school year is hectic enough for families adjusting to new schedules, teachers, after school activities, sports, and, of course, homework. But for families who have a high school senior in the mix, this time of year is even more stressful because the majority of seniors are also starting the college application process.

With so many colleges offering applicants the opportunity to apply early, perspective freshman are required to start preparing their applications as soon as possible.

Mighty Mommy has been through the college application process 3 times. The excitement, the stress, the waiting - it can all be overwhelming. That's why today, she shares 7 tips to help make the experience as smooth and painless as possible for you and your high school senior.

Sponsor: This episode of Mighty Mommy is brought to you by SpiritClips from Hallmark, the world’s premiere streaming entertainment service for family-friendly movies that lift your spirit. Please visit us at spiritclips.com/mightymommy to learn more about us and to view our library of hand-picked, heartwarming entertainment.

Tip #1:  Get Organized Early

Getting and staying organized is the key when filling out the plethora of paperwork that accompanies college applications.   Read the directions on each application. Know what is required of you and when it is required. Enter this information on a planning calendar. Record meaningful dates and deadlines you must meet in completing your applications. Decide which standardized tests you want or need to take and add the test dates as well as the registration deadlines on your calendar. Post the calendar someplace where it can be easily referenced by you and your child. I prefer the refrigerator or a family bulletin board, if you have one.

Tip #2:  Stay Ahead of Deadlines

Help your child establish his own deadlines for sending in the materials that are at least one week ahead of the actual deadlines. Then work backwards to establish dates by which he’ll need completed essays and letters of recommendation, allowing plenty of time (6-8 weeks) for these documents to be generated. By waiting until the last minute to get things started, your child gives up control of the process, potentially allowing for an disorganized or even incomplete application to be filed.

Tip #3:  Enlist the Help of Your Child’s High School Guidance Department

Most often, high schools assist students in compiling and submitting their applications, and will host a parent night at the beginning of the year that deals strictly with college preparations.  I have found these to be super helpful, and I’ve utilized the support they offer whenever I’ve felt overwhelmed with the entire college admissions process.  Just be sure your child becomes very familiar with how much or how little her high school will help so there will be no unexpected surprises. If your school utilizes a data management system such as Naviance, help your student learn how to use it properly.

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