college essay timeline

On the Valentine’s Day episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation, host Ian Fisher has something for everyone as he and his guests offer advice on how to manage the rest of senior year, how to begin work on college essays (listen up, juniors), and how to negotiate merit scholarship offers from colleges.

Avoiding Senioritis

Ian’s first guest, college admission expert Jennifer Simons, offers some insights about the perils of senioritis, an epidemic currently hitting 12th graders. While she acknowledges the exhaustion and burn-out some seniors may be experiencing, she points out that even with a college acceptance in hand, it’s important to remember that it has been offered with the expectation that you will continue to do what you did to get admitted there.  She and Ian talk through the importance of keeping your grades “in the ballpark” and not unnecessarily dropping classes and extracurricular activities from your schedule. Tune in to learn more about the situations they’ve encountered and the lessons they’ve learned about senioritis.

College Essay Timeline

Ian’s next guest, college admission expert extraordinaire, Lauren Randle, explores a timeline for juniors to start working on their college essays and provides some ideas on how to get started. Lauren’s timeline is an ambitious one; her goal is for juniors to have their Common Application essay done by June of their junior year so they can spend the summer working on supplemental essays. However, throughout their conversation, as Lauren and Ian discuss that timeline, they also offer some practical ideas for how to help college-bound students learn to write in their own voice about topics that matter to them—two key components of a successful college essay.

Asking Colleges for More Money

Finally, Ian’s last guest, college finance expert Tara Piantanida-Kelly, is on hand to talk through how to ask a college for more merit scholarship money. Tara’s first suggestion is to first determine the person to contact and the process to follow, and then she discusses how to frame the request. She and Ian conclude with a conversation about the down sides of negotiating a merit award (spoiler alert: there are none).

Be sure to tune in to our next episode, when host Sally Ganga and her guests will talk about the “right” number of AP courses to take, visiting colleges over spring break, and financial questions to ask during Accepted Student Days on college campuses.


Written by College Coach
College Coach® is the nation’s leading provider of educational advising, offering expert guidance from the best college admissions consultants on the college admissions and finance process. Our goal is to help each student maximize his or her chances of success through services focused on their personal desires, goals, individual strengths, and accomplishments.