Some of you have begun your college application work already.  When using the Common App, there are a few questions that you will be asked for on the profile page and here are the answers:

    • Rank:  Drake HS does NOT rank
    • Grading Scale:  4.0
    • Counselor:  Sheila Souder
    • Counselor's Title:  Counselor (I know it's a weird question, but there you have it)
    • Counselor's Email:  ssouder@tamdistrict.org  (be sure to spell this correctly) 
    • Number in graduating class:  wait until fall, or 325 is the number as of today
    • Your GPA:  wait until fall and then use the Academic Weighted GPA in Home Access.  If unsure, come by and ask me in the fall, as they are not yet calculated

    We ask seniors to give us advice to current juniors to help them through the college application process.  Here are few words of wisdom:

    ·         The NUMBER ONE piece of advice is START EARLY!!!  (OVER 40 STUDENTS SUGGEST THIS)

    ·         Write your college essays/personal insight responses over the summer – at least one or two drafts (ANOTHER 50 SAID THIS)

    ·         Stay organized – have ONE folder where you keep your important dates/deadlines/passwords

    ·         Apply to a diverse group of schools

    ·         Visit colleges virtually - there are a ton of opportunities for virtual visits and 1:1 meetings with admissions reps. Take advantage of these

    ·         If you cannot see yourself attending a school, do NOT apply there

    ·         Discuss finances with your parents.  Evaluate options based on several factors (i.e., location, academics, finances, culture, etc.).  Ms Souder has some Financial Resource Information on her website

    ·         Read your emails frequently.  Stay on top of deadlines

    ·         Thank your parents for their support in what is often a very hectic time in your life.  They are reminding you about deadlines because they love you

    ·         Take advantage of the resources available to you:  College workshops, Ms Souder, Ms Neumaier, college essay help, teachers, parents, graduated students

    ·         Have a Plan B in mind, in case Plan A falls through.  With COVID, maybe even a Plan C!

    ·         Don’t apply to too many schools (9 is a good maximum; some reach, some match, some safety)

    ·         Have Ms Souder review your college essays (and a teacher, and a friend)

    ·         Write down your priorities!  Location?  Food?  School Size?  Distance from home?  Intramurals?  Sororities?

    ·         Try NOT to compare yourself to others.  Remember that you are unique because there is only one you!

    ·         Do your best, and do what you love

    ·         Just breathe

    ·         Oh yes, and START EARLY!  DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!

    And now, a few friendly reminders:

    ·         Many of you have already completed your Letter of Recommendation Form and for that I want to say: THANK YOU.  For those of you who plan to apply to private colleges in the fall, those colleges WILL REQUIRE a letter of recommendation from me.  If you spend just 30-45 minutes completing the LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION FORM, you will have one less thing to do in the fall.  Those of you who do this now will thank me later. All responses must be typed.  Send them in the body of an email or in a google doc.  If you have a resume, send that along as well.

    ·         PARENTS:  Please send me a separate email (with your students name in the subject line) and sharing what you feel are some of the qualities and achievements that you want to make sure I am aware of when writing my letter of recommendation.  

    ·         You may want to peruse the COLLEGE APPLICATION GUIDE with your parents for great ideas and resources.  This guide has a wealth of information and will NOT be printed (go Green!  Save a tree).

    ·         Many of you plan to visit colleges over the break or summer, so please review the College Visit page on my website.

    ·         For those of you applying to the UC system, there are 8 questions to choose from; you must respond to 4 of those.   I suggest taking about 10 minutes to jot down notes, bullet points or sentences in response to each, and then selecting the 4 that you feel resonate most with you to write complete essays about. 

    ·         For those of you using the Common Application, those questions are also on my website.  

    ·         Please read Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, by Frank Bruni.  This book saves so many families from undue stress.

    ·         For Parents who did not attend the JUNIOR PARENT WORKSHOP, please review the information independently as it will help you to be a great support to your student in the busy fall season.


    Education happens across a spectrum of settings and in infinite ways. 

    College has no monopoly on the ingredients for professional success

    or for a life well lived.”   Frank Bruni


    Last updated on 06/19/2020.