So many young women tell me that they do not want to consider a women's college. I say, "Get some information before you close that door." So many women have had wonderful experiences at women's colleges. I encourage you to attend a local presentation by representatives from five women's colleges: Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Smith, Mt. Holyoke and Wellesley. The presentation is open to students and families and will be held at Catlin Gabel School, 8825 SW Barnes Rd, on Tuesday, September 9, at 7:00pm. Find out why you might include a women's college on your list!
I just learned about this program and wanted to share it with you! I have also added it to my summer activities page. It is a free program offered by the US government to study languages that they deem a priority: Mandarin, Arabic, Korean, Hindi, Persian, Russian and Turkish. They also offer a year long program for recent high school graduates which is a great idea for a Gap Year. It the National Security Language Initiative for Youth program.
Common Application is live!
The Common Application (commonapp.org) is live! This allows students applying to college to fill out one application for multiple schools. The majority of colleges that use the Common Application are private schools, although a number of public colleges and universities have signed on in recent years.
August is a great time to get a lot of application work done. Once school starts, you will have homework and extracurricular activities on your schedule as well. Applications take more time than you expect and colleges can tell if you threw yours together at the last minute. I like to say that applying to college is like adding an AP or advanced course to your senior year schedule.
Take the time now to fill out demographic information (your name address, etc), and start writing some essay drafts. Many students think they can just think about an essay and it will magically come together. I have found that sitting down and writing out many of your ideas will result in essays that are more cohesive.
Also, it takes time to remember all of your activities and to describe them meaningfully in the small amount of text space provided on the application.
If you are applying to state colleges and universities, make sure you are filling out applications for the year 2015-16. Some universities do not have their application available until September. If it is not clear, please call and ask them. It's no fun to fill out the application twice.
If your family earns a lower income or if you are on the free or reduced price lunch program, talk to your school counselor about fee waivers. Fee waivers allow you to apply to colleges without paying the application fees now. Some colleges defer the fees and take them out of your financial aid award when you arrive on campus. Most counselors will be back in the office at the end of August, but will be swamped the first few weeks enrolling new students and working on schedules. Be patient!
Good luck! Enjoy August!
Kathy Garrett has been a school counselor for over 30 years, and a college counselor for well over a decade.