With the 2017 college graduation season underway, commencement speakers are sharing their wisdom and advice with this year’s graduates. A collection of inspirational speeches was recently published in The New York Times. Read what these speakers had to say.
Seniors—Before graduation and all of your final celebrations, take care of this list of to-dos as you get ready to go off to college!
Take the time now to thank the people who have helped you throughout your college process. Write a note to your guidance or college counselors, recommendation writers and anyone else who has guided you along the way. Let your supporters know what your plans are for next fall and express your appreciation for all their efforts.
Have your high school send your final school report or transcript to your college.
Finalize your financial aid details and follow-up on any loose ends. Review your payment plan options and make sure your first payment is submitted on time
Submit your housing choice on time and complete any roommate surveys or requests.
Register for any orientation programs offered and register on time for fall classes.
Before you’re tempted to toss all your college admission materials in the trash, sort through and save the following: final copy of each of your essays on your computer or back-up device, or print a hard copy, print a copy of your completed Common App because your online account will become inactive, your test score report(s), your transcript, important school work you may want to use if asked for samples.
Maintain an updated list of activities and awards or honors to help you create your resume when needed.
Finish strong. Don’t let anything disrupt your college bound plan. Complete your high school requirements and stay focused.
Complete any summer reading or pre-semester assignments.
According to the National Association of College Admission Counseling’s (NACAC) annual College Openings Update, more than 400 colleges and universities still have openings, financial aid, and housing available to qualified freshman and/or transfer students for the Fall 2017 semester. The Update allows you to search by state and by country for schools still looking for students to join their incoming freshman class. Both public and private colleges and universities are included on the list.
The list will continue to be revised as colleges and universities finalize their admissions numbers for 2017/18 and will remain online through June 30th.
Juniors, college applications may seem far away, but now is the time to request recommendation letters from your teachers. These letters help admissions representatives to get a better understanding of who you are and what you’re likely to contribute to their classrooms and campus community.
Here are our top tips for securing your best recommendations letters:
- Make your request for recommendations in person. Many teachers receive more requests than they can possibly write, so asking in person and in advance gives you a better chance of getting on their list.
- Most colleges require a minimum of two letters of recommendation from your teachers and one from your guidance counselor, and also require your letters be written by instructors you had in junior or senior year. If possible, ask two primary subject teachers to write your letters. Also, remember, a recommendation will be more valuable if written by a teacher who likes you and knows your learning style.
- You may want to include a letter from a teacher or coach who knows you well, if you’ve been seriously involved in a program such as science research or athletics.
- Provide your teachers with information that will help them write the most effective letters. Give them an outline of the highlights of your time spent in their classroom, your favorite assignments and samples of your work. Also, let them know what you enjoy(ed) most about their class. Share any experiences outside the classroom that are relevant to their subject matter. You can also show them your resume. Help them write a letter that ties together all your related experiences.
- In the fall, check back and confirm your writers are onboard. Once you know where you’re applying, give each recommender a list of your schools and the application deadlines. If your high school mails in the forms, provide each writer with a recommendation form for each college along with a stamped, addressed envelope. If your school participates in an online program such as Naviance, your writers will submit their recommendations electronically.
- Make a list of the schools you are applying to and keep track of your recommendations. Jot down the date you give your teachers the forms and check online or with the colleges as the process progresses to confirm receipt of the letters.
- Later, after the letters have been completed, it’s nice to show your appreciation by writing each of your recommenders a hand written note thanking them for their support.