U.S. News Offers Top Tips for Juniors

Hey Juniors!  Or should we say, soon-to-be seniors?  School will be out soon, and you’re geared up for the summer.  Whether you’ll be volunteering at an animal shelter, backpacking in Europe or working at a bookstore, it’s also an excellent time to start (or continue) your college quest.  To that end, U.S. News &World Report offers some great suggestions in a piece called, “What Should High School Juniors do to Prepare for College”, compiled by Unigo, a free college search website based on reviews by college students.The article contains five excellent tips, two of which we’d like to share to get you started.

The first suggestion, from Nancy Meislahn, dean of admissions and financial aid from Wesleyan University, is a simple but brilliant tip: set up an email account to be used exclusively for college correspondence.  The thinking behind this is twofold.  The first we could call cosmetic.  When you started using email in elementary school you probably weren’t thinking about what would be appropriate down the road.  Remember, this is the first impression of you that schools will have.  “babyface291@aol.com”  won’t cut it.  Try “first initial, last name, number.”  Boring, but dignified.  The other reason is that, no matter how organized you strive to be, emails frequently go missing or are forgotten if you don’t clear your inbox on a regularly basis.  A dedicated email box means the college-related items won’t get buried amid your bank statements and years-old birthday greetings you haven’t gotten around to deleting.

The next tip comes from Don Furda Jr., director of education and training, National Association for College Admissions Counseling.  He believes in creating a “road map,” like an itinerary for your college journey.  You can go a step further.  Post an oversize calendar on your wall (and don’t forget the Sharpies).  Here you will keep track of all college-related activities: campus visits, admissions deadlines,  scholarship deadlines, AP exams, etc.  Seeing it right there on your wall, every day, will keep you motivated.

On this road map, you’ll want to schedule a stop for an admission essay writing workshop, as well as workshops for the SAT and ACT essays.  So check out the Wow Writing Workshop website for upcoming classes.  Among them: “Ace the ACT Writing Test,”  Tuesday, May 24, 7 – 9 p.m. at Birmingham Seaholm High School, and “Wow Them with Your College Essay,” with classes scheduled throughout the summer.  For a complete calendar of classes and registration information, check out our schedule.