How To Get Your High School Senior Into A Great College

News & Views | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 08/06/2014 | 02:45 PM EDT

Want to help your teen get into one of the best schools in the country? Check out this helpful guide

The final year just before college for many high school seniors is vastly approaching - and for some it’s already began - which is why it’s important that you do everything possible to ensure they’ll get into one of the best colleges in the country.


If there’s a soon-to-be college freshman in your life and you want them to have the best undergraduate experience in fall 2015, the time to get the ball rolling is now!


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With SAT testing, college admission applications and likely demanding last-year academic requirements for high school graduation, it can be quite overwhelming for any 17- or 18-year-old, which is why the guidance of a parent or adult figure to help them along the way is necessary.


Luckily for you, Centric’s got you covered. We’ve compiled a list of tips to follow in order to maximize any high school senior’s chances of getting the acceptance letter of their dreams. Check it out.


Start Early -
Don’t wait until the last minute. You can never be too early. While your high schooler may not know exactly where he or she wants to end up just yet, you want to make sure they are currently doing their research. What college best fits them? What do they want to major in? All of this will help them narrow down their list. Also, be sure to encourage your teen to do early admissions, as there is a less greater pool of applicants for admissions staff to sought through.


Good Grades
- If one wants to get into an Ivy League or top-tier institution, good grades are essential. Unfortunately, if he or she has not been a high-achiever in their first three years of high school, they may be out of luck. Their senior grades will play no role in the decision process, considering applications typically get mailed out before the end of the first semester. However, encourage your high schooler to finish strong, as sometimes it could play a role in acquiring a scholarship or getting off a waiting list. Think of it as their last bargaining tool.


SAT Prep
- Though many colleges are beginning to realize that standardized testing does not paint a complete picture as to how one will perform in campus classrooms, it remains to be the premier reference for getting in. Enroll your teen in a SAT prep class so that they can learn testing strategies and begin to familiarize themselves with the sometimes overbearing questions and information. The more they practice the more comfortable they’ll be on test day.


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Hire A Professional For Personal Essay
- SAT scores are great and all, but nothing tells an admissions director more about a student than their personal essay. Not only does it showcase a student’s writing aptitude, but it also allows him or her to reveal a part of their personality that scores and data can’t show. However, writing the perfect essay takes a lot of time and effort, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Hire a professional writer or company to help him or her spruce up their essay, as they are often meant to be more creative and expressive than academic.


Make A Trip
- The best way to ensure that a school is the best fit for a student is to actually visit the campus, no matter near or far. He or she gets a feel for what it would be like to attend and, most importantly, it allows the parents or guardians to meet with admissions staff, who can be more helpful than from email or telephone. And if your student makes the right impression on an administrator, there’s a possibility that he or she will make an extra effort in getting the student in, with maybe even access to scholarship money.

(Photo: Scott Quinn Photography/Ocean/Corbis)

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