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How soon is too soon for College Admissions?

Updated: Jan 31



Every once in a while, I get a phone call or email from a parent of a middle schoolers, who prefaces the conversation with an apology, not wanting to appear to be overly anxious or pushy.


To which I always reply, "I wish all of my clients were like you and started this process earlier!"


College admissions has become a complicated business, and with your child’s future and your money on the line, it is never too early to start to become an informed consumer in the college admissions marketplace. Contrary to the common assumption that starting on the College Admissions process, while your child is still in middle school is going to create stress and anxiety for the child, my experience is just the opposite. The sooner you start becoming aware, the less stress, you and your child will feel as they move through all of the challenges of high school, and then finally the culminating last year, when it is actually time to submit the college applications.


Think about it: in your own professional life, what happens when you leave a deadline or important project to last minute? You were riddled with stress and anxiety, and the more high stakes. The project is, the higher your stress will be when you are burning, the midnight oil versus preparing well in advance.


The same holds true for your teenager

Preparing for college admissions exams, going on college visits, building relationships with college admissions officers, filling out multiple applications, and writing dozens of essays all takes time: years, not months. Not to mention all of the time spent on other activities that your child is involved in throughout high school that will go into contributing to the personal differentiator that makes up their unique identity that they can leverage to get into the school of their choice.


And with the growing importance of the Passion Project for students who are applying to highly competitive colleges, starting early will put you at a very distinct advantage over those who make that phone call junior year. (More to come in a future post regarding the passion project.)


Time: it is a precious resource that you can give your child by starting the college admissions process early.


The most important benefit to starting the college admissions process early is the ease and confidence you create for your child come senior year, when they have been visiting colleges since freshmen year, preparing for all their college admissions tests by junior year, writting all their college admissions essays the summer BEFORE senior year, and sending off all their college applications early fall of their senior year. My clients who start early sail into senior year with ease and confidence, as the acceptance letters arrive by the holidays.



Mark your calendar for March 2nd!  Dr. Donna is offering live and in person The College Admissions Bootcamp in Westport, CT.  In this ultra informative workshop, Dr. Donna takes you through her 4 Step Method that has helped hundreds of students get into their 1st choice college. This workshop is geared toward sophomores and juniors, but freshmen are welcome to attend as well.


Keynote Address will be delivered by Dan Woog, prolific author, local youth advocate and writer of the popular 06880 Blog: Where Westport Meets the World.   


Click image below for details and registration information for the March 2 Bootcamp



Want to talk to Dr. Donna about your child? Click here to book your complimentary Parent Discovery Call.


For more quality contact on the College Admissions process and updates on speaking engagements, workshops, and presentations, sign up for our newsletter.


Dr. Donna Risolo is the owner and principal tutor of College Prep Tutors, a boutique College Admissions firm serving students since 2005.  Dr. Donna has helped hundreds of teenagers get into their first choice college and many with substantial scholarship awards regardless of parent income. She earned her doctorate degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in NYC. When not engaged in her passion project of helping teens realize their full potential, Dr. Donna also works as an educational consultant, guiding public and independent schools in best educational practices, admissions and fundraising, strategic and school improvement planning, mission, purpose, and vision, parent and stakeholder engagement, and organizational culture building.


For more quality contact on the College Admissions process and updates on speaking engagements, workshops, and presentations, sign up for our newsletter.


Dr. Donna Risolo is the owner and principal tutor of College Prep Tutors, a boutique College Admissions firm serving students since 2005.  Dr. Donna has helped hundreds of teenagers get into their first choice college and many with substantial scholarship awards regardless of parent income. She earned her doctorate degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in NYC. When not engaged in her passion project of helping teens realize their full potential, Dr. Donna also works as an educational consultant, guiding public and independent schools in best educational practices, admissions and fundraising, strategic and school improvement planning, mission, purpose, and vision, parent and stakeholder engagement, and organizational culture building.

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