April 22nd, 2011 Score At The Top Learning Centers and Schools
Although there are some universities that do not require essays, colleges on the Common Application as well as UF, UCF, and FSU require essays. NOW is the time to start thinking about potential topics. Seek your parents’ advice on essay topics since no one has known you better or longer than they have. The questions for this year’s Common Application are exactly the same as last year. Even though UF, UCF, and FSU have not yet announced their essay questions for this year, look at last year’s questions as they will likely be somewhat similar. Note that some colleges on the Common App have supplemental (additional) essays which will not become available until much later in the summer.
Applications – all done online!:
Common App (www.commonapp.org): If you are applying to any of the 460 colleges on the Common Application, USE IT rather than the colleges’ own applications. In fact, some Common App colleges don’t even have their own applications. A list of these 460 colleges can be found at the end of the attached file: Common App & SUS Questions & Common App College List.PDF. (A few of these colleges may opt out of the Common App by the fall.)
Until July 1, you can play with the existing Common App Online to get a better feeling for it and to get the answers to application questions that you may not know (e.g., in what years did your parents graduate from college?). To get a jump-start on any required supplemental essay questions, review each of your college’s current Supplement to get the current essay questions as they may be the same next year. (Remember, next year’s Supplements may not be available until late summer.) Any data you enter into this year’s Common App will be destroyed on July 1 when the Common App website comes down and their staff builds the new application. But you can print it out to save the info you have entered.
State University System of Florida: The website www.facts.org contains a link to the applications for all the state universities in Florida (click on Applying for College, then College Applications, then Continue). The new applications for the state universities should be available by mid-summer. Note that New College is the only state school in Florida that uses the Common Application.
Other Colleges: Their applications become available on their websites throughout the summer. You should periodically check their websites for availability.
Regardless of which applications you’re using, please begin to work on them online as soon as they become available. You can work on your application over time as almost all electronic applications allow you to return again and again to website to work on the application and save your work. Then, once an application is complete, do this: email the link to the application along with your username and password to your parents, or someone you trust so they can review same. NEVER SUBMIT AN APPLICATION WITHOUT HAVING IT REVIEWED!
Keeping track of your work: Create an EXCEL spreadsheet for keeping track of college application websites, usernames and passwords, deadlines, essay questions, etc. We recommending using two worksheets in the spreadsheet: one for colleges on the Common App and the other for all other applications. Add additional columns to the spreadsheet if you’d like to track other steps in the process (e.g., portfolio or audition requirements, SAT/ACT requirements).