One of my goals when working with students is to simplify the process as best I can, and I find that a little organization goes along way. With that in mind, in my last post I offered up a few tips on things to do this summer that could give you a jump start on the college process before the school year really gets going. I have one more: fill out an application.
The Common Application is used by 456 schools and for many students it's a great time saver. Others think it's why acceptance rates appear to be shrinking. But I digress.
The 2012-13 version will be released on August 1, but a paper copy is available right this minute. Print it out.
For our purposes here the beauty of the common app is that it also contains questions you'll see on other college applications out there. If your parents went to college, do you know where? Do you know what they majored in? Get some of these answers now and when you sit down to fill out your "official" applications, you can fly through these easy questions. Write it all down and file it away in a safe place (but not so safe you can't find it again. I think we've all done that.) This will become your reference sheet.
If you're feeling really bold, go ahead and take a crack at one of the six essay questions. I know the back-to-school ads have already started but there's still plenty of summer left and plenty of time to take of advantage of it.