Since Round 1 high school applications are due soon, I did a weekly video on “wasted choices” on the high school application (go to the NYC Admissions Solutions YouTube channel to watch it!).    One of those wasted choices categories was related to not meeting a school program’s selection criteria.  By selection criteria, I mean things like an interview, a writing sample, an audition, an online assignment, a portfolio, etc. – whatever that program may require you to do beyond simply applying to the program.


One of the easiest ways to remove yourself from consideration for a screened or audition program is by not meeting these criteria.  And it is amazing to me how many students do so.  Much of this, I believe, has to do with the timing of submission of the high school application vs. the timing of the interviews, etc. – very often coming after the application is due.


Having said that, one of the most important pieces of advice I give families at this time of year is to make sure that whatever choices are on the application, you follow up and meet the criteria exactly as specified.  Otherwise you are simply making it that much easier for the high school to eliminate you from consideration.


This may sound obvious, but the reality is that once the application has been turned in, many families neglect to recognize that their Round 1 obligations are not necessarily over.  Remember, these more subjective measures – whether it’s an interview, writing sample, or something else – can make or break a student’s chances.  Yes, even if the student has stellar grades or test scores.  And when it comes to a student getting a match in Round 1 vs. not, this can make all the difference.


Bottom line – yes, Round 1 applications are due soon, but high schools continue to evaluate candidates beyond December.  So your work may not be done.  Don’t take chances.  Run through the finish line, as they say, and give yourself every chance possible of getting a top choice Round 1 match.  Prepare for those auditions, interviews and writing samples, and don’t leave anything to chance.



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