They say the early bird catches the worm. But if that worm is an elite college education and that bird is an already overburdened high school junior who’s busy taking AP classes and participating in demanding extracurricular activities, is getting an early start on the admissions process even possible? Just how early is this young bird expected to get out of bed?
If you are a rising junior who plans to attend an Ivy League or other top-tier college, college counseling can guide you through the complex and competitive admissions process. You should retain the services of an expert IvySelect college counselor—and you should do this as soon as possible.
Admissions counseling begins with identifying your interests and background in order to develop a strategic plan. By positioning your classes and extracurricular activities and setting your summer activities between junior and senior year with the help of your IvySelect college consultant, you will define your profile and ramp up your competitive stature to top schools.
With a strategic plan in place, you can begin to target colleges by weighing factors such as your interests, long-term goals, and finances. Based on your list of targeted colleges, you and your counselor will adapt the plans and schedules below to suit the admissions strategy that’s right for you. These activities may prove critical in effectively crossing the admissions minefield through the remainder of your high school career.
- College entrance examinations: You will need to take specific exams to comply with the requirements of your targeted schools. For example, many top-tier schools require that you take Subject Tests in addition to the SAT or ACT. Further, if you want to study a particular field, certain Subject Tests may be recommended or required. In the case of prospective engineering students, for example, admissions officers often like to see students take Physics, Chemistry and/or Math Level II exams. Your IvySelect college consultant will assist you by recommending which tests to take.
- Additionally, your consultant can provide you with a sense of what scores are needed to “be in play” at each school. You will need to be aware of registration deadlines, exam dates, and back-up deadline dates in case you need to retake any exams to improve scores. IvySelect admissions counselors can guide you to superior standardized test instructors who have helped our students increase their scores dramatically.
- Campus visits: Although you certainly can visit colleges throughout junior year, many students and families schedule visits to many if not the majority of colleges on your list during spring break. Arrangements for visits need to be made well in advance in order to accommodate the calendars of all parties, especially those of admissions officials. Your IvySelect counselor can assist your family in developing a workable college visitation list. Your consultant also has a detailed college visitation list that you can use and can provide you with important information and strategies about campus visits.
- Recommendations: Admissions officers strongly prefer letters of recommendation from your junior teachers. You and your counselor will discuss teachers and others who would make ideal references, offering impactful recommendations in the context of your chosen field and targeted colleges. Your list will prove its value to you as you select academic courses, scholastic activities, and real-world affiliations as you apply to your schools.
- Application guidance: The most important advisory service that your college counselor provides pertains to the applications that you submit to each of your targeted colleges. The completion of applications isn’t as simple as checking boxes on forms, providing biographical data, and submitting exam scores and transcripts. The most crucial aspect of the application is, in fact, how you comprehensively and directly address an overarching vision of who you are. Therefore, it is important to emphasize the “resonance,” in admissions-speak, of components, including essays, recommendations, and activities. IvySelect college counselors are also extremely skilled in helping you develop a nuanced picture emphasizing your fit at each of your specific schools through those universities’ supplements. Your IvySelect consultant understands the subtle distinctions in how elite schools approach applicant evaluations. It is paramount that you be aware of unique decision criteria in combination with the weighting of standard input information in the decision process of each elite college.
Your IvySelect college admissions consultant is especially well qualified to help you, as a junior, prepare for the rigorous admissions process conducted by Ivy League and other top-tier colleges.
Let’s get started!