For most people, school admissions is not a top priority right now, nor should it be. At the same time, I’m hearing a lot of comments from parents about the application process such as, “There’s nothing I can do,” or “I feel like I can’t make any progress.”
I’m pleased to say that is the furthest thing from the truth, especially when it comes to middle or high school admissions. In fact, I truly believe there’s even greater opportunity NOW to set yourself apart as an applicant once application time comes around. And while most families and students may also think any steps might be too time-consuming given all they have going on in their lives right now, it’s really more about taking consistent baby steps that will compound over time rather than huge periodic leaps that won’t be as effective.
The reality is, most people won’t do this – but the ones who do these simple steps can help themselves in the long run. Here are a few items worth considering:
1. Set aside no more than 30-45 minutes per week in your calendar for these steps. Don’t overdo it, it’s a marathon.
2. Be sure to get a basic understanding of how the admissions process works. Our free webinars may be a great place to start!
3. Using 2-3 key resources (Insideschools.org, MySchools.nyc, niche.com, privateschoolreview.com or school websites to name a few), spend 30 minutes per week researching schools and jotting down your thoughts. This will be tremendously valuable later on.
4. Build your list(s) of schools UP, not down. Now is not the time to narrow down your list to just a few choices. Indeed, robust is the name of the game.
5. Attend 3-5 virtual tours this spring. It doesn’t matter if they don’t necessarily represent top choices or even the type of school you wish to attend (public, private, parochial, etc) – just get them under your belt and learn from the experience (students AND parents). Practice preparing and asking questions. You can find these now on many school websites, and more and more schools will offer them in the coming weeks.
6.Keep track of a small sample of your child’s best work, even keeping it aside in a separate google folder or other location.
7. Students: Consider taking 10 minutes per week to journal your experiences and what you are taking away from this new, challenging time – both the good and the bad.
8. Students: Find an extracurricular activity online related to something you care about or enjoy, even if it’s 15 minutes a week. Find something you enjoy and stick to it.
9. Students: Don’t take your online learning for granted. Many students will do the absolute minimum. Don’t let that be you. You may not see the benefits now, but you will later on. Show up every day, turn your assignments in, and communicate with your teachers.
10. Finally, jot down your questions so that when you do speak with an admissions expert, you are ready and make the most efficient use of your time.
Of course, my team of admissions experts and I are ready to help your family when you are ready. Simply contact us to schedule a complimentary, introductory phone call to see how we can help you.
Stay safe and be well.