Tag Archives: college admissions assistance

Keep Moving!

Pretty Woman On ComputerWe’ve just passed November 1, the first of several deadlines for college applications. After the stress of this initial push to get Early applications finished, many students are lulled into a sense of complacency. They feel they can wait until the mid-December announcements to begin work on the rest of the college applications should they not be accepted into their first choice school.

The only hitch in this brilliant plan is that they are unaware of time, both how much time things will take and how little time they have.

An Early application normally goes to only 1 or 2 schools. Students should apply to 6-8. If you do the math, you realize quickly that there is still a lot of work left to do. Kids have often completed the main part of their Common Application for this Early deadline and thus feel they have finished the lion’s share of the work. To some degree this is true. But, they are forgetting the remaining 6-8 supplements or other colleges who don’t accept the Common Application and require a whole new presentation. There is just no way this is going to happen quickly.

Added to the time needed for doing a great job on college applications, students are also spending more time with their schoolwork. Classes are getting harder and their extracurricular activities are getting more demanding as the year progresses. Sleep will get increasingly hard to come by. About the time that they learn whether or not they have been accepted Early to their college of choice, they will also be facing finals, Christmas programs, and a host of other activities that will make it difficult to be creative and thoughtful on the remaining applications. Many are postponing the work hoping to do it all over Thanksgiving break or Christmas vacation. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that rarely happens.

The truth of the matter is that most kids will not be accepted Early to the college they dream of.

They will be forced to submit their other applications to their stretch, fit, and safety schools. Those essays, short answer questions, and other things will have to be done. My advice, beginning right now, is to finish a college application a week. Take your time. Make sure it is perfect. Once that is done, move to the next college application and complete it in the following week. A calm and orderly completion will take the pressure off and won’t cramp their busy schedule. There is no need to submit these yet. Just let these applications just sit there until you get the word about whether they have made it in Early. If they are not successful, it is then easy to hit the submit button for the remainder of the colleges.

Even the most brilliant of teenagers are usually still not mature enough to manage their time well. Help them avoid poorly constructed applications, a GPA dip, or a stress-related illness by clearing the schedule, offering support, and showing them how to work methodically toward their goal. Everyone will be happier and your college results will be better!


Are you on our VIP List? If you would like to receive our newsletter, be the first to be notified of sales and new classes, and get special updates, click here!

Related Posts:

Remember to Breathe

You can cut the tension with a knife in the homes of many high school seniors about now. Kids are wide-eyed and sleep deprived. Mothers are resorting to tears or raised voices. Rigorous classes are taking their tolls and college applications are way more complicated than anticipated. Things can deteriorate quickly if we don’t take…Continue Reading

A Diamond of Many Facets

The college application season is upon us with a vengeance! Students are straining to get their applications in shape for the early deadlines. Those who have completed their early applications are gearing up for the marathon required to complete the other 6-7 schools on their list. In their haste to get it done, many kids…Continue Reading


Dilute: make (something) weaker in force, content, or value by modifying it or adding other elements to it. When our children were younger, we lived in a tiny town perched on the side of a breathtaking Colorado mountain. There were few cultural opportunities in this rural mountain area and my daughter, an accomplished violinist, opened…Continue Reading

Connect the Dots

As families begin the arduous process of college applications, the tendency is to view each piece as a separate entity that stands alone. It is easy to get tunnel vision and hyper focus on a single thing: the transcript or the essay or the counselor letter or the interview. Families think that if they just…Continue Reading

Guiding Letters of Recommendation

If your seniors haven’t already done so, they need to contact the teachers they want to write their letters of recommendation now to allow them plenty of time. You want teachers that know your child well, hopefully in and out of the classroom. You want them to be your child’s biggest cheerleader. To find the…Continue Reading

The Extracurricular Essay

Students will write a number of essays during the college application process. Last time we talked about the personal statement for the Common Application. Now let’s look at various prompts students are given to discuss their activities outside of school. Colleges want to know what is important to the student as well as how they…Continue Reading

Explain Your Homeschool Choices Carefully

Homeschoolers have come a long way. We’ve gone from misunderstood to mainstream. We’ve progressed from a minimalist high school education to the rigors of AP classes and research. We’ve earned our place at respected universities. The reason for much of our success has been that we’ve learned how to explain our choices. This becomes particularly…Continue Reading


For generations Americans have seen college as an investment to a better future. The whole family would scrape together the funds and make huge sacrifices to send a smart, hardworking son. He, in turn, would earn higher wages, help the younger siblings, and pull the rest of the family into a different socio-economic level. Back…Continue Reading

Finding a Good College Fit

  Summer vacations and extracurricular activities offer the perfect opportunity to visit area colleges. With more than 3,000 institutions across this country, you are always a stone’s throw away from an institution of higher education. As your family takes campus tours, visits with students, think about what would make a good fit for your student…Continue Reading

Alone. Again.

These last few weeks have been exciting as my clients have been notified of college and scholarship decisions. After 18 years of dedicated parenting, months of college applications, the stress of thousands of details, the final announcement in print can bring a range of emotion – thankfulness, tears, wonder. Then begins the serious work of…Continue Reading

College Visit Weekends

 In just a few weeks, the agony of waiting will be over for students who applied Regular Decision to selective colleges. April becomes a frantic month as seniors rush to visit weekends at various campuses to make their final decision. Colleges put their best foot forward, roll out the red carpet, provide great food, schedule…Continue Reading

The Junior Gauntlet

The spring semester means different things depending on where your student is in the high school progression. Freshmen are still exploring activities and learning to hold their own in difficult high school classes. Sophomores are rolling along in their AP class(es) and settling into their extracurricular focus. Seniors are breathing easier after completing the college…Continue Reading

Secrets to Successful College Apps

   I’m pleased to announce my new eBook series, The Thinking Mother’s Guides to Homeschooling. Right now there are two Kindle releases on Amazon, with seven more in the planning stages. They are short, very inexpensive books, but jam-packed with useful information for homeschooling families.   Just in time for the college application season, Secrets…Continue Reading