Now is the time of year your student begin submitting college applications. State school application deadline dates often fall around December 1st. The most competitive college deadlines begin January 1st and the majority of college application deadlines fall between February 1st and 15th.

Essays and letters of recommendation will need to be written and, if test scores are a little dicey, perhaps the December 4th SAT test or December 11th ACT test should be scheduled. Speaking of those letters, colleges often want recommendations from an academic teacher (sometimes in a specific subject), the school counselor, or both. If the college requests a letter from an academic teacher, and the subject is not specified, English or math teachers usually make good candidates. Also helpful is to get a recommendation from one of your student’s 11th grade who has known them long enough to form an opinion of their character.  Keep an eye on the progress being made and who knows? You just might survive this after all.

Some colleges– though fewer now than in years past– require an interview either on campus or with an alum in your area. You can help your student before he or she sits down on the hot seat by setting up a practice interview. It is probably best not to take on this job yourself, but an interested friend might fit the bill quite nicely, and your student can become accustomed to the process with no pressure. Here are a few suggested questions to get you started:


•    Why do you want to attend our university?

•    What personal qualities will you contribute to the class?

•    What classes/courses have you enjoyed most?

•    Are your grades an accurate reflection of your potential?

•    Which one of your activities is most rewarding and why?

•    What has been your biggest achievement?

•    What’s your opinion on [fill in current event]?

•    How did you spend last summer?

•    What do you want to do after you graduate from college?

•    What’s the most difficult situation you’ve faced?

•    If you could change one thing about your high school, what would it be?

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