The other night I posted a candid shot of me sharing a kitchen stool with my eight-year old. She climbed up to snuggle with me as I ate another late dinner after a long day of work. In the post, I mentioned that no matter how hard my days may be juggling motherhood and a business, it is essential to take the time to share knowledge with others if you have it.
I have done that from the very beginning of my journey as America's College Counselor. I didn't have any college guidance when I applied to college so I have made it my mission to share what I know to as many families as possible. Sometimes, though, a family shares their knowledge with me. And that's when a community is built. We have that community in Application Nation, but we are always willing to impart what we learn and what we know.
In the spirit of sharing, here are five hacks to get you through this year's admissions process. If you have another hack, share it in the comments section below. Let's celebrate that college admissions secrets are meant to be shared!
1. Students now have 100 characters to list, and possibly describe, their awards in the Honors section of Common App.
2. When reporting your ACT scores in Common App, it will ask you for your highest composite score first.
3. If you are a National Merit Semifinalist, use the main essay that you have already written for your college applications for the National Merit application.
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4. Don't overlook a college's summer start, freshman fall abroad, or second semester start.
5. Embrace virtual college tours.
Free Download: College Visit Worksheet
The college admissions process continues to be filled with secrecy and mystery. It doesn't have to be. Colleges need to be more transparent about how they evaluate applications. They owe it to students. In the meantime, I'll continue to share my knowledge and encourage everyone else to do the same.