The college application process truly begins as soon as students enter high school year. Every time students choose courses, join a club, pursue and activity outside of school, win an award, get a summer job, or look up information on a school, they are indeed participating in some way in the application process. If students wait until the summer before senior year to begin to think about their interests and strengths, and the steps they should take to be prepared for college, it will be far too late. Y.E.S. Educational Consulting begins working with students as early as freshman year, scheduling a few meetings throughout 9th and 10th grade to discuss courses, activities, and summer plans.
To be clear, under no circumstances are we suggesting that students should pad their resume for the sole purpose of “looking good” for colleges. However, we do believe that students should be making a concerted effort through high school to explore academic and extracurricular opportunities in an attempt to find their obsessions—the things that get them excited, get them motivated, get them wanting to learn more and do more. Admissions officers are seasoned professionals at sniffing out fake passion. Only by truly immersing themselves in chosen areas will students be able to prove that they mean it when they say they love science, or language, or community service.
“Immerse” is the key word here. The ultimate myth of college admissions is that schools are looking for well-rounded students. This is simply not true in most cases. In reality, competitive colleges are looking for well-rounded student bodies. They do not need a campus full of students who perform well in a variety of subjects, dabble in a litany of activities, and check the boxes for a never-ending list of volunteer projects. Instead, they want a campus comprised of students who each bring an individual edge and will be one piece of an interesting and engaged study body. What this means for students in high school is that being immersed is far more important than being spread thin. If you play soccer and also have an interest in education, coach soccer in your spare time instead of joining DECA or Model UN. If you have dreams of going pre-med but would love ultimately love to work for an organization like Doctors Without Borders, find some opportunities now to begin helping underserved communities. Don’t waste your time joining student government, peer tutoring, and Model UN if this isn’t where your interests lie.
If you’re interested in learning more about why beginning early is so important, contact us today to chat with us about your student, and we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.