High School &
Keeping records in high school is vital. That’s because all things big and small tend to slip our minds as the interminable days, weeks,
and months of high school wear on and on.
You don’t think you’ll forget important moments and accomplishments. But you will.
We wouldn’t have remembered my daughter volunteered at the public library if it
were not for the letter she received. Without
the certificate, my younger son’s summer
computer camp would have been forgotten.
And it was a little program book tucked in
between papers that reminded our older
son he won a photography competition as
a freshman. These records proved tantamount to my children’s college success. Not
only did they benefit from record keeping
by receiving college acceptance letters, it
was the deciding factor in the scholarships
Keeping records need not be taxing,
however. In fact, the place I kept my children’s records was a drawer in my hallway.
When a document came in the mail or was
given to the child, I shoved it in the drawer.
When one of my children did something
important, I jotted it down on a scrap of
paper and into the drawer it went. When it
came time to apply to colleges, it only took
a week or so to separate out the collected
documentation and organize it into categories listed on the college application.
While record keeping is imperative, it’s
equally important to understand what admissions counselors are looking for in a
student. Colleges award acceptance, and
oftentimes scholarship dollars, based on
certain factors. Let’s explore those factors
so you are be prepared to encourage your
child in these areas and can anticipate the
types of records you need to keep.
Colleges like applicants who pursued challenging courses such as advanced science,
math, and language, as well as honors, AP,
and Dual Enrollment courses. There’s often
a separate section for applicants to list these
courses along with the final grade.
Admissions Test Scores
The SAT and ACT test scores, combined
with the student’s GPA, are the determining
factors for most college scholarships. High
test scores can earn applicants automatic
scholarship money. You will need to report
the scores on the college application or on
your child’s high school transcript.
College Credit Tests
College credit tests not only prove a student’s genuine knowledge of a subject, they
demonstrate that he challenged himself academically in high school. You will need to
list these tests on the transcript and may be
asked about them on the application.
AP tests are challenging college level
exams and can earn the student up to six
hours of college credit, depending on his
scores. A child need not take the AP class
to sit for the exam.
Like AP exams, SAT II tests cover one
subject in great depth and can earn your
child up to six college credit hours in that
subject, depending on his score.
CLEP is another test that can earn a student
college credit. However, you may need to find
out which colleges accept CLEP credits.
Senior Year Rigor
The freshman drop rate profoundly affects
a college’s rankings. This is why admissions
counselors ask what courses the student is
taking senior year. A student carrying an
easy course load could signal an unmotivated student, so it’s important to take a
few rigorous courses to show colleges your
child is still in it to win it.
Extra Curricular Activities
Scholarships are often awarded to students
who show commitment to activities done
Plain and Simple
Not only did they
benefit from record
keeping by receiving
acceptance letters, it
was the deciding factor
in the scholarships they