3 Summer Tasks for this High School Senior

What, you say? Only three?

August 2011. Calendar by M.S. Julie.

In truth, this list could be endless. When I wrote about Mod Squad Pete’s summer recently, he had a long list of tasks and I included links to a few HS senior task lists we’d run across.

But now we’re close to the end of summer vacation:  school starts two weeks from tomorrow. Within those two weeks we’ll spend six days traveling to a family reunion. Meaning, Pete needs to — what’s that word, starts with “P”, and he hates it? Right:  prioritize.

1.  Prep for the SAT. He’ll take the test again this fall. Test dates that will still work for seniors are October 1 and November 5. Maybe December 3 if you really want to push it (which we don’t.) The College Board makes this fairly easy to figure out with a score availability schedule. As they put it,

If you plan on taking the SAT again, the beginning of senior year is the best time. Research shows that students who take the SAT a second time usually improve their score.

2.  Get started on the Common Application. The online application for 2011-2012 went live July 31st and now serves 456 member colleges and universities. All the colleges on his short list, but one, accept the Common App. Pete can start putting together his application now, piece by piece, modifying it as needed for each college, saving it as he goes. Get Me To College offers up ten tips on completing the Common App here.

Overall Application. You can keep changing info until the minute you submit the application. So don’t worry. You can go back and make changes. Any requirement with a YELLOW DOT in front of it is MANDATORY to fill in.

The application seems more doable by working on it in pieces. This is another thing we’re hoping Pete doesn’t leave ’til the last minute:

The Common Application set a new single-day record on December 31, 2010, when students submitted 127,175 applications. Factor in supplements and school forms, and the online system processed 3.5 submissions per second on that day. As of January 1, applicants had submitted 1,809,193 applications, almost surpassing the total volume for 2009-10.

3.  Write, write, write. Yes, Pete’s been drafting college essays off and on for the past month. Has it been more ‘off’ than ‘on’? Who knows. He has a lengthy list of Common App essay, supplementary app essay, and short-answer requirements. We all know (Pete and the two parents) that the further he can push these along before school starts, the better.

That’s the big three for the next two weeks. The smaller stuff is still there. Today starts, for instance, with his senior photograph session…

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One response to “3 Summer Tasks for this High School Senior

  1. Pingback: First college application deadlines now in view. | Dr. StrangeCollege or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Journey

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