When the college planning process sneaks up on prospective college students and parents
Ann Arbor, Mich. — Sept. 2, 2014 – It may seem as though a son or daughter only entered kindergarten a few years ago when, suddenly, that kindergartener is a junior or senior in high school. With the school years quickly passing by, it is not uncommon for parents and students to arrive late in the game when it comes to college planning says financial advisor, Timothy C. Parros, CCPS, founder of Parros College Planning, an Ann Arbor, Mich., based company providing resources in the college admissions process to parents and prospective college students. Parros offers three items for prospective college students to focus on prior to applying for admission to his/her top-choice school.
“I am often approached by parents and students who had no idea how early many begin the college planning process,” Parros said. “While waiting until a prospective college student’s junior or senior year of high school will not provide the best opportunity of gaining admission to his or her top-choice school, there are a few things that can be done to increase a student’s chances of admittance relatively late in the game.”
First, getting a high score on the ACT and/or SAT will help increase a student’s chance of being accepted into a top school choice. In order to get the best possible score, students should take prep courses to learn best practices and take as many practice exams as possible. According to Parros, the age old saying of ‘practice makes perfect’ comes into play with preparing for college entrance exams.
“If a student’s ability in the classroom is not reflected in his GPA, a high standardized test score can off-set that,” Parros said. “The best way to achieve an impressive SAT or ACT score is to study, prepare and practice, practice, practice.”
Second, students need to write a stellar essay to submit with college applications. The essay
should convey a student’s intellectual curiosity, maturity, leadership capabilities and his/her commitment to the university.
“While GPA and test scores are two major factors for admission committees, a student’s personality and capabilities beyond the classroom are also important aspects considered in the essay review,” Parros said. “A compelling essay that portrays personality, abilities and potential contributions to campus, can sometimes be the deciding factor in a student’s admission. Because of this, relying only on test scores/GPA and not spending adequate time on the essay is not the best strategy.”
Lastly, Parros says college-bound students need to get involved in the community and stay involved.
“It’s never too late to join an organization at school or begin volunteering at a local shelter or area non-profit,” Parros said. “Just as an essay can sway an admissions committee’s decision on a student, so can a student’s involvement in the local community.”
To learn more about Parros College Planning and how Tim Parros and his team help prepare prospective college students get into their first choice college, visit www.parroscollegeplanning.com.