Take just a few simple steps every month to avoid getting lost and making mistakes.


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In just a few weeks time, your entire family will have to adjust to new routines, new rules and new demands on your collective time and energy. Change of any kind can be difficult… but the start of a new school year brings it to a whole new level.

In fact, just thinking about the start of school can cause even the calmest mom or dad to sweat.

Having a game plan for the start the new school year can help you stay calm (and dry) as the countdown to school (and college) begins again in earnest.

In this month’s lesson and materials, we’re going to give you the tips and tools you’ll need to create a kick-butt/take-no-prisoners, individualized game plan your child starts school calm and ready to make the most of his or her year.

Expect chaos, but avoid getting swept up in it.

Relax the road to college is long — and sometimes windy. It’s an incremental process. You WILL make progress!


Beat the rush.

You can get ahead of the game by jumping in early to beat the rush to your guidance counselor. They can answer critical questions you’ll need to know for your year ahead.

For 7-10th Graders:

For 11th Graders:

For 12th Graders:

Email your college counselor to make an appointment to talk to him or her if you need to work through scheduling concerns, to confirm the procedures for requesting your official transcripts, teacher recommendations and to find out if/when schools that you are currently considering are planning to visit your high school.


Make a plan and trouble-shoot NOW before the stress of the school year starts.

For 7th-11th Graders:

  • Talk about and make a list of the ways to get involved this year. We highly encourage students to participate in all types of school activities and extra-curriculars, so long as they truly appeal to their interests.Why? It will make applying to college easier when you’re in 12th grade (and increase your likelihood of acceptance). Remember, selective colleges will be far more impressed with evidence of substantive commitment to one or two contextually-relevant activities than by a long list of superficial memberships.
  • Download this month’s guide to get a punchlist to guide you on how to make the most of your fall.

For 12th Graders:

    • Learn your deadlines. Find out and make a list of when different college applications are due, when various supplements are due, when financial aid documents are due. Budget your time (allow enough lead time) to complete every task in advance of the priority deadlines.
    • Decide whether you are going to take the SAT or ACT again this Fall; and if you plan to do so, make sure that you register for the upcoming September 10 ACT by the Aug 5 deadline or the upcoming October 1 SAT by the Sept 1 deadline!

href=”” target=”_blank”>this month’s guide to get a punchlist to guide you on how to make the most of your fall.

Schedule a free, 15-minute chat to discuss your child's 2016-17 college prep strategy or if you just feel stuck.

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Get your bonus sample college admissions resume, 18 Critical Questions to Ask Your Guidance Counselor and video training for this month: How to Write the College Essay plus a timeline of important dates for the first 100 days of school (through the first semester).

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