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Senior Year College Readiness Checklist! Are you Ready to Apply? Admissions Tips

are you a senior in high school and

wondering what kind of things you need

to do to make sure that you are ready to

apply to and get into college this year

if so in this video I'm going to go

through my senior checklist my name is

Brooke I am an SAT and a CT prep tutor

and college consultant I've been helping

students for over a decade and a half

get into their dream schools places like

Stanford and Harvard so I'm gonna talk

you guys through all the steps you need

to take if you haven't subscribed to our

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as well as new videos and information

that might be of use to you senior year

as you approach college admission time

okay I'm gonna divide this into seasons

because there's different seasons of

senior year and there's different things

that you should be doing depending on

that season the first season I'm going

to talk through is the biggest one and

that is summer slash fall the reason I

say summer slash ball is there's a lot

of this stuff that you can get started

on in the summer and start to

investigate even though it's not fall

yet and most of you have a little bit

more time during the summer so that's

usually a good move my first tip is to

make a college list how do you make a

college list well we're going to be

creating a video this summer to tell you

more in detail how to make a college

list but my best advice is always make

sure that you have some safety schools

those are schools that have over a 30%

adament rate some fit schools those are

schools that typically omit students who

are in your range where you're at like

the 50th percentile or maybe even above

for scores including GPA and test scores

and maybe a couple of reach schools

after you make your college list it's

really important that you start to get

organized so to get organized there's a

few things that I recommend that you do

the first thing is make sure that you

put all of your pertinent deadlines in

your calendar what that means is you

need to go through all those schools on

your college list and figure out what is

their deadline for applications and make

that you investigate if you're

interested in any honors programs any

particular specialized departments or

any say scholarships that those colleges

directly offer the deadlines for

applying given those circumstances might

be earlier than the general application

deadline so make sure that you research

all that you check into all these

schools you're applying to and you know

date wise all the dates that you're

responsible for knowing and I also even

recommend maybe making a spreadsheet of

your college list and then creating

columns where like general deadline

early application deadlines early

decision deadlines etc you also probably

want to figure out at this point if

you're going to apply somewhere early

which schools you want to apply to early

and we'll get into that when we talk

about making a college list cool so get

all organized the other thing the third

thing that I like to do in addition to

putting all my application deadlines

down and sorting through any scholarship

or other earlier deadlines is making

documents for all of the essays that you

have to write so I like to make Google

Docs you can use whatever document word

processing software you like but make

some documents and get organized so that

you have a document for every essay

you're going to write or one big

document I usually don't like to do one

big document that gets crazy but I can

create a folder and in that folder I can

put you know a folder for each school

and then in each school I have a

document for every essay that is going

to get going and then in each document

at the top is the prompt so then you're

like sort of all set up and ready to

write your college essays and that

brings me to the next point on my list

which is start grading essays I always

recommend if you have the time and it's

still summer it's a good time to start

writing your essays though you can

procrastinate to the last minute I'm

sure some of you watching this video are

like I have a week before my deadline I

don't have time to write in the summer

the summer is over if so that's okay but

if you have the time of the summer and

you're ahead of the curve go ahead and

start writing your essays that way you

can come up with the best ideas possible

make sure you pass it around to people

you know I've got lots of videos that

give you tips on essay ratings so you

should check those out on her channel as

well they can help you with

brainstorming essay writing all that

kind of good stuff good topics to write

about next from your college list make

sure that you've taken all of the tests

that you

to take and make sure that you get your

test prep and testing dates in order so

if you haven't already taken the SAT or

the a CT which are usually required at

most universities make sure that you've

set up a test date and that you have a

prep plan in place if you don't have a

prep plan yet make sure you check out

our other videos we have so many prep

videos for free on super tutor TV we

also have the online prep course if

you're looking for the full gamut at

super tutor tv.com

either way whoever you are we have

something for you so definitely check

out those resources and then if you need

to take subject tests or any other tests

let's say you're an international

student you might need to take the TOEFL

but make sure that any exams that you

need to take or any other prerequisites

that you fulfilled those or you put them

on your calendar you go on those

websites you register for those tests

and you get that all squared away okay

next tip talk to your parents about

paying for college now I know this one

can be kind of awkward but sometimes

students don't sit down with their

parents and figure out like hey who's

gonna pay for college or how much money

do we have to pay for college or how

much of a scholarship do I need to get

so you might sit down with your parents

and try to talk through expectations in

terms of finances what they're willing

to pay all that kind of good stuff how

much financial aid are you gonna need

I'll also talk to your parents about the

FAFSA and that's my next point

so the FAFSA is the federal forum that

every student in America who is an

American citizen that is applying to

college and once financial aid has to

fill out senior year it comes out on

October 1st so that's the first day that

you can fill it out but it's due

February 1st so put those dates on your

calendar and figure out more about what

that form is what it requires talk to

your parents about it make sure they

know you're gonna need their tax returns

and all sorts of stuff like that we have

a whole series on financial aid it's

called free money for college go check

out those videos and we will walk you

through all of the elements that go into

finding scholarships and all that good

stuff next on the list is to identify

and research scholarships or financial

aid so in addition to just figuring out

the FAFSA which everybody has to fill

out if you're applying for need-based

financial aid you're also going to need

to look up like what kind of

scholarships do you want to get or what

want to check into or how much

legitimately could you expect to maybe

add into the pool for your college

funding lots of resources out there

again our videos are a good place to

start you can start there and hopefully

that will help cool next on my list of

senior year items clean up or social

media accounts so as some of you might

know college is when they're going

through your applications as soon as you

hit submit in October to that first

University they might Google you they

might look you up online make sure that

you don't have your full very unique

first and last name on YouTube spewing

out obscene comments on every video you

can find if you have behaved in ways on

social media that maybe aren't wonderful

and awesome or you don't want colleges

to see it's time now to clean that up

before it's too late next on my list is

ask some teachers to write you letters

of recommendations so when you apply to

college you're going to need letters of

recommendation usually one of these is

from a counselor and another one is from

a teacher and then sometimes schools

will ask for a third or even fourth

recommender sometimes one of those can

be someone from the community maybe

somebody you worked for at an internship

a coach from outside of school something

like that and if you feel like that

would portray you in a good light that's

something you can do too

another tip for letters of

recommendation pick people who have good

stories on you stories are the bedrock

of awesome letters of recommendations so

make sure you have people who know you

well enough to tell stories they don't

know you that well their letter is

probably going to seem really generic

but identify those people and ask them

early on that can even be the first week

of school you could go to them and say

hey would you be willing to write a

letter of recommendation for me awesome

usually these are all done now through

online portals so you enter their email

or you get their email address and

usually it emails them everything like

digitally you can kind of check that out

depending on which application you're

using online your college counselor at

school also can help you through this

process and help you understand what the

protocol is at your particular high

school some high schools have particular

rules on it in any case the first week

of school is not too early to go and

approach that teacher because sometimes

teachers will have cut-offs sometimes

they will get too overwhelmed or have

too many students ask so get in there

early be polite tell your teachers the

deadlines that you have when your

application deadlines are so they get

their letters in on time and then you

can follow up with them politely

their letter isn't in by that deadline

or the week before that deadline I just

gently remind them all that kind of good

stuff

okay next talk to your counselor and

make sure all your transcripts and

everything else from your school get

sent oftentimes this is automatic with

some school counselors but just make

sure that you're communicating with your

school counselor and that your

transcript your official transcript is

sent anywhere that needs an official

transcript now schools too but a lot of

schools do so make sure that you get all

of that in line next is visit colleges

so go on college visits and you don't

have the budget for college visits you

can also go on a college research

excursion on your computer it's not the

same as visiting but there's so much on

the internet you guys are so lucky you

can watch it videos you can watch a

YouTube for hours and see real students

at real schools and try to get a feel

for the differences in culture between

different colleges in the u.s. you can

read books you can go get books like the

Fiske guide for colleges or whatever it

is but however you want to do this

exploring go and visit colleges and

universities if you have the opportunity

especially if you're going to be

applying early decision because remember

that's not reversible even early action

you have to narrow the field so if

you're considering something for early

action I recommend you go and visit if

you can if you have the opportunity and

if not just make sure you do a little

bit more thorough research okay now we

are moving on from summer slash ball to

full okay in the fall you are going to

need to submit your applications and all

of the material that goes with that when

you submit your applications there's

going to be more checklists so I'm not

gonna get into all the details of

everything you have to do for instance

you have to submit your official SAT

scores your official a CT scores to some

schools your AP scores etc etc but I'll

leave that just to the applications

themselves but submit your college

applications hold your breath and wait

and there you go fall winter let's talk

about winter in winter you may start to

get some letters back from schools where

you have applied early decision or early

action if you exercise that option if so

and you get deferred it's a good idea to

write a letter of continued interest to

tell the school you're still into them I

know a lot of students who have gotten

off deferral lists or wait lists so if

you're wait-listed or deferred make sure

you consider writing a letter if you're

still interested in that school we have

a whole video on how to do that you can

check out as well

the next step in winter is to submit the

rest of your applications if there are

any other schools that you need to apply

to if you haven't applied to your safety

school yet

etc now is the time to do it January 1st

is the deadline for most schools that

are competitive some less competitive

universities are going to have later

deadlines January 15 February 1st even

March 1st for some colleges but make

sure that you submit by the deadline for

those colleges that do have later

deadlines I do recommend trying to get

stuff in by January 1st because often

times you have a better chance of

admission and some of them because they

will fill their slots right those

rolling admission schools fill up their

slots and then it gets harder to get in

some time later spring so once you get

to Spring we're going to be getting some

of these decision letters back and we

need to consider those offers and

research them and that's step number one

after you've done that you can also if

it applies to you negotiate financial

aid many students don't know this but if

you have a couple of different financial

aid packages from different colleges or

if the financial aid package that a

college gave you is not enough for you

and your family to make it work you can

contact that college and tell them what

you need to make it work and sometimes

they'll give it to you the other thing

you can do is you can like pit school's

against each other so let's say you have

an offer from Harvard but you'd rather

go to Stanford and Harvard's offer is

more generous than Stanford's well you

can go to Stanford and say hey Harvard

gave me a plane give me the same because

if so I go to Stanford otherwise it

won't hurt so you can also pit school's

against each other and negotiate now you

can't lie that's not a good idea because

they might follow up in check but you

can negotiate your financial aid offers

which is a good thing to know because

they know a lot of students don't

realize that and they think what you see

is what you get and that's not always

the case so be sure to ask negotiate if

you want and the worst they can say is

no next if you're wait-listed attend any

schools that are higher on your list

than where you got into you can great

weightless letters we have a whole video

on that and finally make sure you submit

your deposit on time don't miss that

deadline in May to submit your deposit

even if you're banking on trying to get

into a waitlist at school you still have

to pay a deposit somewhere and you have

to forfeit it so it's kind of a sad

situation if you get it off the waitlist

but that's just the way that it works

cool awesome and finally I'm gonna say

two things you should be doing all year

senior year one is continuing to stay

involved with activities looking for

leadership

opportunity's looking for ways to stand

out looking for words you can win

whatever you can do continue to push

yourself on the activities circuit to

keep your grades up it's really

important that you do well senior year

oftentimes colleges are going to be

looking at your senior year grades

especially that first semester and even

second semester if your second semester

grades don't line up for their first

semester grades colleges sometimes will

rescind offers of admission so be very

careful stay on top of things and

finally have fun because how awesome is

it that you've gotten to senior year

it's an accomplishment to have made it

through the entire schooling system and

be graduating and be on the precipice of

your adult life it's super awesome so

congratulations mate it's a senior year

celebrate have a good time and I will

see you guys next time on super tutor TV

thanks so much for joining us if you

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