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Let the Games Begin!

Let the Games Begin!

It's Time! Your Kid is a Senior. Let the Games Begin!

This is an exciting time in your child's life, and I am here to help guide you through the college application process.

My name is Penny Cunningham, and I am the Director of College Counseling at the Linsly School.  Approximately once per month, I will use this blog to keep you updated as to how our office works, and how you can maneuver your way, and your child's way, through this important time in the high school educational process. As the new school year gets into full swing, it's the perfect time to kickstart this journey and set the stage for a successful senior year. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

1. Timeline for Applications 

The college application process is a marathon, not a sprint. It's crucial to have a clear timeline in mind. Start by marking important deadlines for standardized tests (SAT/ACT), early decision/action applications, regular decision applications, scholarships and financial aid submissions on your calendar. Understanding these deadlines will help you and your child plan their workload accordingly.

Additionally, familiarize yourself with the different types of applications your child might encounter, such as Common Application, Coalition Application, and school-specific applications. Each has its own requirements, so be sure to research and prepare accordingly.

2. This is Not a Race or a Competition

It's essential to remember that the college admissions process is not a race or a competition. Every student's journey is unique, and what matters most is finding the right fit for your child's individual needs, interests, and aspirations. Avoid the temptation to compare your child's progress with their peers. Instead, focus on finding a right fit school and on their growth and development throughout this process.

3. This is Their Process, and You Are the Support System

While it's natural to want the best for your child, remember that this is their journey. Your role is that of a supportive guide and cheerleader. Encourage your child to take the lead, make decisions, and be the star player or captain of their college application team. Their passion and enthusiasm will shine through in their applications.

4. Finding Fit: Visit, Evaluate, Talk

One of the most crucial aspects of the college application process is finding the right fit for your child. Encourage your child to visit colleges, attend information sessions, and connect with current students. Current Linsly students that are enrolled at the colleges on your list are great resources. These experiences will help them get a sense of the campus culture, academic programs, and extracurricular opportunities.

Additionally, engage in open conversations with your child about their goals and preferences. What type of environment do they thrive in? What are their academic and career aspirations? Understanding their unique needs will aid in finding colleges that align with their goals.

5. The List

Creating a balanced list of colleges is key. Help your child develop a list that includes reach schools, match schools, and safety schools. Reach schools are those where admission is highly competitive, match schools are those where admission is likely based on their academic profile, and safety schools are those where admission is almost guaranteed.

6. Use Naviance

Naviance is a valuable tool that can assist your child in their college search and application process. It provides information on college admissions trends, allows for the organization of application materials, and helps track deadlines. In addition, Naviance can help your child research careers, participate in standardized test prep and take a variety of personality assessments. Be sure to explore this resource together.

7. College Representatives at Linsly

Take advantage of opportunities to connect with college representatives who visit Linsly. These visits provide a unique chance for your child to learn more about specific colleges and ask questions directly to admissions officers.  The visitor list changes frequently throughout the fall months, so be sure to check it often.  Most admission counselors are scheduled to visit in person; however, Linsly still offers a virtual option for colleges that do not send representatives to our area.  Students need to sign up in Naviance to receive the information for the virtual visits.

As the academic year progresses, we'll delve deeper into each of these topics, providing valuable insights and guidance to help your child navigate the college application process successfully. During the first several James F. Companion Leadership Seminar dates, the seniors will be in their small groups working through the start to the application process. There are many helpful documents for them to refer to in the Leadership Class of 2024 schoology course. 

Remember, this is an exciting journey filled with opportunities for growth and self-discovery. Stay positive, stay engaged, and most importantly, enjoy this special time with your high school senior. Together, we'll make it a memorable and fulfilling experience and I look forward to working with you and your students.