College Mapping’s 4-Step PLAN for Achieving Your College Admission Success
Developing a comprehensive high school plan includes your student planning a 4-year schedule, extracurricular activities and community service to build a dynamic college ready student. As your student proceeds through high school, we want to find their passions, subject areas that they enjoy and want to pursue in college. We then can prioritize the schools and majors they can investigate.
Freshman year is the time to begin the "college folder" to document your activities through the senior year. Career assessments and coaching are available to help a student to narrow the open field of major options in college. When a student is on the college-track, there are many learn-by-doing opportunities and courses outside your high school to motivate a student to excel and aim high for college acceptance.
Priorities may change throughout a student’s 4-year high school experience. We work directly with the student and parents to map out a clear and direct path for achieving the college plan.
With career assessment tools and evaluating strength areas of study, we can determine the potential college majors to pursue in college. From there, we can layout a comprehensive plan to include:
College searching: Finding your reach, possible and most likely schools on your list.
Requirements: Each school has a set of requirements that must be met. Following the core curriculum while considering Honor and AB/IB courses, is your best bet to college readiness.
Testing Schedule: Pre-SAT, SAT/ACT, SAT II's, AP/IB Tests , College Placement Exams, and test-optional policy. The list is long, the deadlines are critical.
High School Activity Resume: Continuing to build an "ideal" college ready candidate includes joining clubs on campus and other extracurricular activities such as Band, DECA, Theater, Robotics. Athletes have a busy schedule but also need to include community service in their 4-year plan.
Part-time Jobs: Summer positions and ongoing part time jobs show maturity and help to save money towards a college education. For some it may be volunteer assignments, for others it may be a retail, restaurant, or career related work experience.
References: Student will want a teacher, counselor, or school administrator to reference their academic achievements. Many private and some out-of-state schools will require letters of reference in the application cycle.
Essay Review: The college essay topics are published in advance and students can begin to work on these over the summer prior to the busy senior year. Drafts, revision and improvements of your college essays are critical to a winning college application.
Financial Aid: Searching local scholarship opportunities can begin as early as the sophomore year and continue through the senior year of high school. Senior year, the FAFSA process can begin, leading to scholarships, grants, loans and academic merit financial awards from schools.
Application planning: The summer after your junior year, we can help you build a college resume from the high school activity folder that you have been building. This resume will showcase your extracurriculars, community service, jobs, leadership, and other unique talents to you!
You will draft your college essays and personal statements. The goal is to have polished drafts prior to the start of your senior year, a busy time for a senior and with proper planning can be painless!
References are required by many colleges. Utilizing your college resume and a cover letter to share more information with the teacher/recommender, you want to request these letters in the fall as early as possible.
Testing: SAT or ACT scores are currently required for many applications. The exams can be taken junior or senior year (must be scored by October of the senior year). Some student may seek SAT/ACT tutoring to improve scoring and we can recommend companies to work with. SAT II's are preferred by some Universities and will be best taken following the AP coursework, when the material is fresh on your mind.
Senior year is a busy one. The application window opens in late summer and continues with different deadlines per school system. Cal States and UC's end Nov 30, privates and out-of-state schools have other deadlines, open enrollments and scholarships windows of opportunities. To be ready for this window - essays, college resume, references, applications, and financial scholarship opportunities must be defined, followed and submitted!
Financial Aid: The scholarship window opens throughout high school. The FAFSA (Federal Aid) application begins October 1 and should be submitted to each school to determine any financial need & award. Your local school should also have multiple opportunities for scholarship funds as well as numerous online scholarships available to you. Always seek the scholarships first, federal aid, then grants and let’s leave loans (that require payback) to the very last.
Once your plan has been established, it is our job to keep you on track! We will meet regularly over your high school years to build up to the summer prior to your senior year. Having a college resume in place, you can request letters of recommendation early. You can draft your college essay's over the summer and be ready when the fall crunch time hits. Utilizing the college research process, you will be ready for the application windows per school, not missing any critical deadlines. We will be your reminder, your scheduler and we will be the buffer between the student and parent, when needed! Utilizing email, Zoom and other online meeting applications, meetings 1-1 and with groups, we will keep you up-to-date with the plan, and the completed components.
Once the college applications have been completed, time to work with the financial aid options. After making your final choice, we move on to the actual move plans, transition steps and planned move to college! We will provide information to ease through this sometime stressful and joyful period of your lives.
We want to see your student achieve success, a college of their choice! We also want to help the parents through this process and remove the stress often affiliated with college applications. Let us guide you and your student to a smooth & successful college transition.