Helping teenagers understand what college planning is all about.

Perception is an interesting concept, especially through the eyes of a high school junior. While going over a list of schools with a student, I explained that some colleges make test scores optional and you may send them if you wish. I went on to say that these colleges do not believe that the SAT and ACT are an important part of the college admission process. I could tell he was giving this serious thought and then he replied, “I can’t believe there are many good schools that don’t care about your SAT or ACT.”

This incident helped me realize how confusing the college planning process can be.  It is nothing like it used to be twenty five years ago.  Today there are schools that accept the SAT and ACT and those that are test-optional.  You can apply to many schools early decision, early action I and II, regular decision and some schools accept applications up until their first day of classes. 

Some colleges participate in the Common Application and others require their school application be submitted for college acceptances.  There are colleges that require an essay or personal statement and others that do not find it important to their college admission process.  Other colleges require supplemental essays that are part of their application.

For these reasons, students need to research the schools that interest them so that they have all of the important information on hand.  They should list when the applications are due, if there is a priority deadline, and what is required for each college.  This takes organization and requires careful time management to get everything done.

Most students will benefit from some help with the college planning process.  If you find your student and family are overwhelmed with applying to college, you might want to contact a private college counselor to see what help is available.Image

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