In his book The End of College, Kevin Carey argues that we are on the brink of a revolution in higher education. He believes that college-as-usual (aka four-years-and-football) is not sustainable and disruption of the research university model is on its way. He argues that:
There are many reasons for parents to leave most of the college admissions work to their child. After all, you can't go to college for them, so the student needs to be in charge of choosing the college, completing the applications, taking the ACT/SAT, asking for letters of recommendation, participating in extracurriculars, etc. But there is one college admissions project that is perfect for the parents to do: the activities record/resume.
What's an activities resume?
The activities resume is a list of everything that has happened to your child outside the classroom during high school. This includes clubs and activities, lessons, summer projects, achievements, awards, etc. starting right after 8th grade. You know that college is looming, even though your 14 year old won't pay attention for at least a couple of years. Beginning and updating the activities resume is a way for moms and dads to get a jump on the college admissions process.
You have the data, write it down
I know you have a place where you keep all the evidence of your kids' greatness. I have a drawer in my kitchen stuffed full of xeroxed band concert programs, 4-H awards and old standardized test reports. It's in reverse chronological order, because after the paper had sat on the kitchen counter the requisite number of days, I'd just shove it in the drawer on top of whatever else is in there. When it came time for my boys to fill out their applications, suddenly it was important to know what they did when. What exactly did they do that showed leadership or community service? What honors and awards had they won?
Lessa Scherrer is an college admissions consultant who has worked with college-bound students for many years. She is a member of NACAC and WACAC and also teaches ACT Prep, speed-reading, college study skills and college-level writing.
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