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Dear Student and Families,
I hope you are healthy and staying safe at home amidst Covid- 19. These are challenging times as you navigate your high school curriculum, the college process and more but it’s important to remember above all- it’s about maintaining your health. All else will fall in place.
There have been several past disruptions to the college journey for families over the years yet ultimately, everything works out for the best because of the team of professionals that surround you- those looking out for your future.
With that being said, I want you to know that I am keeping on top of all of the consequences of the crisis as it relates to the college process. Here are some reminders and updates:
- College Admissions Visits and Interviews
Numerous colleges have closed their doors, possibly for the remainder of the year. You most likely will need to delay your college visits until over the summer. To keep on top of campus visit policies for each individual college, check their websites.
You will still have plenty of time to visits schools before applications are due so no worries. In fact, colleges may extend early deadlines in the fall or even remove the requirement for “demonstrated interest” with the understanding of time and financial constraints experienced by many families.
In the meantime, what can you do? The next best thing- Surf the college websites of the schools on your college list. Have fun studying all aspects of the colleges from academics to campus life. Enjoy YouTube to check out campus videos that provide additional glimpses of the personality of a college. Continue to complete your Why College X forms- and share them on Google Docs.
- ACT and SAT Test dates- Information and Recommendations from Lynn Carnegie of Carnegie Prep (my go-to expert)
Here is what you need to know about test dates right now:
The April 4th ACT has been rescheduled to June 13th. We are strongly encouraging students to register for the July 18th ACT to keep their options open. As of today, there are still openings in West Hartford. Registration for the September 12th ACT typically opens in early July.
From the ACT: “ACT will communicate directly with all students currently registered for the April 4, 2020 ACT test. All students registered for the April 4 test date will receive an email from ACT in the next few days informing them of the postponement and instructions for next steps.”
The May 2nd SAT and Subject Tests have been canceled with no makeup dates. The March 28th makeup exams for the March 14th SAT (available to some students) have also been canceled. Students should register ASAP for the June 6th test date. Registration for the August 29th SAT typically opens in mid to late April.
From the College Board: “College Board will provide future additional SAT testing opportunities for students as soon as possible in place of canceled administrations.”
We’ll have news about the AP exams after March 20th, when the College Board will offer more information.
If you have any questions about your test plan, please reach out to me as soon as possible.
- Summer Academic Planning- Silver Lining- Travel, Enrichment, Shadowing Opportunities
Many students have plans to participate in programs that are located abroad or on college campuses in the US. Although a potential disappointment if cancelled, at this point, it is hard to forecast what ultimately may happen.
What could be the silver lining? Popular summer programs may transition to online programs. Here’s a Top 100 list of summer programs from Teen Magazine (see link below). If something looks interesting, check their website to learn how they might be responding to what’s ahead related to the Covid- 19 crisis.
- Essay Work– Get a jump start on brainstorming about college essay themes. See below Common Application 2020-21 Prompts.
For the Common Application essay requirement, you will need to choose one of the prompts and write a response of not more than 650 words. I recommend that you think about ideas for each prompt and then determine which one draws the most content from you as you create outlines or drafts. If you’re sitting around the kitchen table, talk through your ideas with your parents and siblings.
CA 2020-21 Essay Prompts (Choose 1)
- Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, please share your story.
- The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
- Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
- Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma — anything of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
- Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
- Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
- Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.
- Social Distancing- It’s difficult, for everyone. With school closed and activities cancelled, here’s a new plan.
Enjoy your family, listen to music, dance, watch movies, exercise, do yoga, read books, try a new recipe, paint, create a blog, write a letter to someone you care about, spend time outdoors, spend time taking care of yourself…slowdown…
Time is a gift. Take advantage of social distancing with enriching your life in another way. You’re free to explore in all directions. It might give you an opportunity to find another passion- to discover another way that makes you happy.
I’m thinking of you and I’m here to help you in any way. Please don’t hesitate to contact me.
All the best,