This week, I have a guest blogger- Saint Dominic Academy Senior Hannah Dobronsky. A graduate of All Saints Catholic Academy and the recipient of the Siena Scholarship at SDA, Hannah has spent the past four years making a name for herself. In the classroom, on the tennis court, as a student leader in the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and Student Ambassadors, she has been a gift to our school community. She recently penned some advice to the members of the class of 2020 and when I read it, I asked her permission to share. I am pleased and proud to present Hannah’s advice to the juniors.
Here is a list of 12 tips that I learned throughout the college process and I think they can be really helpful to you!
1. Make sure you register as soon as possible for whatever SAT you are taking. You probably want to take it with your friends, so signing up early helps you get a seat before they are all filled up.
2. Check out the ACT if the SAT is not for you! Most colleges accept both and weigh them the same. The style of the ACT might work better for you.
3. There are a lot of test-optional schools, more than you would think. If you feel like you are a bad test taker, make sure to check out test optional schools. And always remember, you are so much more than your scores, so don’t get discouraged!
4. Find out if any of your schools require or recommend SAT subject tests. For the most part, these tests are given the same dates as the regular SAT , and you register through the College Board, just like the regular SAT.
5. Start working on your Common App early. Giving yourself enough time can help you to make your essay the best it can be. I started mine in June and fourteen drafts later, I finished in October. I would NOT recommend writing that many, I’m just a bit of a perfectionist. ☺
6. Visit all the colleges you are thinking about before senior year starts. This helps you narrow down which schools to actually apply to. You may think you like a school from their website or family member who attends, but you might get a bad vibe or feeling when you visit the campus. Once senior year starts, you will be extremely busy, so I recommend visiting a lot of schools in the summer.
7. Keep a list, (in docs or notes) of all the schools you are/might be applying to. Be sure to include whether it requires a writing supplement, an interview, subject tests, what the deadline is, and how much the application costs.
8. Consider applying Early Action. Not all schools offer it, but it is a non-binding option that lets you have your admissions decision in December or January as opposed to March or April. The deadline is usually in November and I applied Early Action to all schools that offered it. This helped me a lot and I ended up submitting all my applications before Christmas.
9. See which of your schools require the CSS profile, and additional financial aid form that can be accessed through College Board.
10. Start making a list of all your extra curricular activities: sports, clubs, awards, honor societies, leadership positions, volunteer positions, paid work, and anything else you contributed time to. You have done so many amazing things throughout high school and Common App wants to know it all!
11. Ask teachers for recommendations in the summer or early September. You want to give them enough time, especially if you are applying early anywhere.
12. Take a deep breath! This whole process is very complicated and overwhelming and your mental health is more important than stressing out when you have such a long way to go. I promise, you are going to end up right where you belong, and no matter where you go, your experience is what you make of it.
Good luck and never be afraid to reach out to the seniors if you have any questions about anything!
Sound advice from one of our truly stellar seniors! Thanks Hannah for blogging for me this week!