In our last post about The Basics (Post #2) of getting organized, we talked about the importance of making a monthly commitment to planning for college. When you sit down each month for your planning session, keep in mind what information you should be tracking for applications.
Here are some sections you will encounter on a college or scholarship application:
- Academics and Testing
- Extracurricular Activities
- Community Involvement
- Leadership Experience
- Honors and Awards
- Work Experience
- Essays and Statements
- Letters of Recommendation
For each section listed above, ask yourself each month:
- Has anything happened in the last month that can be included on a college or scholarship application?
- Are there any upcoming opportunities that I should take advantage of that can then be recorded next month?
- Are there any pictures, certificates or documents that need to be saved?
Simplify planning for college by doing these 3 things each month:
- Discuss current goals and your plan to reach them.
- Change or add goals if your interests change or goals are reached.
- Create or update a to-do list for the upcoming month.
Some applications will ask for attachments. A copy of a newspaper article about an extracurricular activity or community involvement is a great addition.
Here are some examples of common attachments:
- Certificates: These will be kept in better condition if stored where they are not handled often.
- Medals and ribbons: These can be copied or photographed as attachments and are stored more easily in a tub or box.
- Newspaper articles: Keep newspaper clippings somewhere that they do not have to be folded.
- Awards: Even small samples of artwork or trophies should be kept.
TIP: All of these items should be stored together in one location. A storage container is a convenient and organized way to keep information that may be needed later. This will allow you to easily find these items when filling out applications. Going through your storage container will also help you recall experiences that should be included on your application.
Wondering how to keep everything organized?
In our next and final post we will tell you about The System (Post #4) to help parents and students track and organize all the information they will need for college and scholarship applications.
Please share your thoughts in the comments below! Is there other information you keep track of or great storage solutions you have found? What are your best tips for tracking information and planning for college?
Other posts in this series: