June 2018 - Letter to the Class of 2019 and Parents/Guardians

Dear Juniors and Parents/Guardians,

As the 2017-2018 school year comes to a close, I want to make sure that you are on track in the college process and share some important reminders with you. It has been wonderful getting to know all of you over the course of the semester, and meeting with most of your parents to discuss a preliminary list of schools to start off the college search. This list can be found on your Naviance account under Colleges I’m Thinking About. Parents, you can see this list by logging on using your child’s username and password.

Please make sure to visit some colleges over the summer! These visits are instrumental in helping you decide which colleges to apply to. (Labor Day weekend is a particularly good time since college students will be back on campus.) The goal is to have a complete list of 6-10 colleges by summer’s end that include 2-3 reaches, 2-3 targets and 2-3 safety schools (including a financial safety or two). I will be meeting with each of you in the fall to make sure your list is balanced and that you would be happy to attend all of the schools on it. If you have questions about which schools to visit or would like to discuss further this year, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me and we’ll set up another time to talk.

At this point all of you should have taken either the SAT or ACT. Your next chance to take the ACT will be on July 14 and the next chance to take the SAT is on August 25thThese are very popular test dates so please register for them as early as possible! If you are planning to apply Early Action or Early Decision and want to take the November SAT, please be sure to check with the school(s) to make sure that the school will accept November scores. All October exams should be fine. Please come see me in the college office if you are eligible for a fee waiver (you receive free and reduced lunch).

As I have said in class, you should really try to use the summer to finish the main Common Application essay in an effort to reduce your stress in the fall. The prompts for the essay can be found here: www.commonapp.org/whats-appening/application-updates/2018-2019-common-application-essay-prompts. In the Resources section of College Corner you will find a list of a few resources you may use over the summer to get support with your essays. Some charge a fee and others are free. Writopia works on a sliding scale and offers excellent college essay writing workshops. Beacon High School is offering a one time essay writing boot camp with follow up support. I also have a few friends and colleagues who are exceptional writers and coaches and have volunteered to work with some of our students over the summer. If you are interested in this option, let me know and I will see if I can match you up.

You can start filling out the Common Application starting August 1 at www.commonapp.org. Any question that is specific to ICE such as grades, level of courses, codes, etc. just leave blank and we will do that together in September. I will also be guiding you through the Common App in the Fall, so don't worry if it becomes too confusing. 

On August 1st the individual colleges will also release their supplements, the additional essays that many selective colleges require. As I’ve said in class, I strongly recommend that you start fleshing out your answers to these before returning to school in September. These supplements can be time consuming to complete and require that you articulate your specific reasons for why you are choosing a school and why you are the right fit. Do not blow these off – they can make or break your application!

Lastly, we will be having a senior Financial Aid Night for all parents on Tuesday, October 6th. Parents, please save the date! This will be a very important meeting to review the Fasfa, CSS profile and other financial aid materials you will need to complete.

Congratulations on (almost!) finishing this grueling year. You are a such an impressive group -- I can’t wait to work with you in the fall and see all the great schools you will be getting into next year. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out with any questions.

Wishing all of you a wonderful summer!

2017 Common App Guide.pdf

Essay Help Contacts.pdf