Bradshaw College Consulting

April 3rd, 2020
Bradshaw College Consulting

Dear Mr. Bradshaw,

Our daughter, who will start ninth grade this fall, has been an honor student in the seventh and eighth grades. We are seeking guidance about activities and areas of study that she could consider participating in as she enters her high school years and are eager to help facilitate her eventual efforts in the college admission process
We want to support her interests and strengths and hope to expose her to projects that will enhance her knowledge about potential areas of study and career opportunities.
Concerned Parent

Use Freshman Year To Explore Activities & Study Areas

Dear Concerned Parent,
First of all, I want to congratulate you on your forward thinking on behalf of your daughter.
Early planning, especially in light of the COVID-19 uncertainties in secondary and higher education is even more important. Her high school years will fly by and her course and extracurricular activity selections during that time will be critical in[ her college acceptance chances.

I have several thoughts.
Nearly all scholarly articles and research agree on the predictive value of a successful high school freshman year as it relates to future outcomes. This is a year to explore interests and there is general agreement that this exploration should start with discussions with a high school counselor.
Colleges will evaluate you based upon the classes you have taken in high school, so your daughter needs to make sure that she is taking a solid college prep curriculum. Start with the basics and move on to more advanced classes. It is important that she continues her honor student status throughout her high school tenure and that she is taking the right classes.
While extracurricular activities will have an influence on her college applications, she should not join in these activities for the sake of adding to her resume. I would urge her to “shop” the clubs available to her and then build a participation strategy that correlates with her interests. It is always wise to pursue extracurricular activities that may have some connection with her potential college major and career aspirations.
Your daughter does not need to know where she wants to go to college as a high school freshman nor does she have to have a definitive career path in mind according to a majority of high school counselors.
During the upcoming school year, I urge you to keep close tabs on the varied requirement status of college admissions tests like the PSAT, SAT and ACT. While some colleges have gone test-optional during the pandemic, it is anyone’s guess as to whether this policy will continue. Freshman year is too early to worry about studying for and taking the PSAT, but down the road her college choice preference may hinge upon her test scores.

Gerald Bradshaw is a top US college admissions consultant with Bradshaw College Consulting.
Tags: Colleges SAT Preparation

SKYPE: geraldbradshaw
Colleges, College Consulting, International Students

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