While senior year is several months away, students and parents are fully aware of how quickly the time passes, especially for students with outside interests and multiple commitments. With both the Common Application and the UC/CSU Systems opening their online application process beginning August 1, 2014, it is more important than ever for juniors-turning-seniors to be PROACTIVE in doing the research and exploration necessary to making an informed college choice, and to achieving success in the college application process.
Senior Smart Start
Senior Smart Start is a Summer 2015 four-week program, with support extending through the first semester of the senior year. Its goal is to help students:
- Assess interests, skills, careers and majors to develop a list of colleges for further exploration or narrow the list of possibilities.
- Research prospective colleges and assess match potential.
- Identify options ands strategies for further standardized test preparation, if needed.
- Establish contact/accounts with selected schools.
- Develop a personal resume to aid in the completion of UC and Common App applications.
- Identify personal references and recommendation sources, and provide them with the time and information necessary to write a winning recommendation.
- Write the personal statements necessary for the UC and Common App schools.
- Research available scholarships.
- Develop a personalized timeline for senior year in order to reach goals.
Each Senior Smart Start group is a class of no more than 15 students, who work with a counseling and college admissions expert/coach to execute and “own” all aspects of the college search, application and decision process. The “own” process is critical: while counselors and parents can help guide the process, the student needs to own it, in order for each student to make the best match possible, based on his or her prospects, interests, family resources and motivation.
The small group format of the Senior Smart Start program is unique, and valuable because it offers group instruction where it most appropriate AND individual attention where it is needed. Students are not only accountable to their parents and coach, but also to each other. A multitude of research proves that peer influence is more powerful than any other in the teen years; the College Success Network program draws on that reality. At the conclusion of the summer program, students will have the majority of their applications completed, even if they continue to explore colleges on their match and reach lists.
Beyond the summer session, Senior Smart Start participants benefit from:
- Ongoing question-and-answer access via e-mail for anything related to college application preparation, standardized test recommendations, or any other aspect of the senior year experience.