#College Essays and Applications

With continuing uncertainty about when (and if) schools will resume this spring, we recognize that juniors and families will have questions for their guidance counselors and teachers related to the college application process. 

In this blog post, we wanted to organize a series of questions that your student should be asking in the coming weeks if they don’t already have these answers.


If your junior has not asked two core academic teachers to write recommendation letters for them yet, they should do this as soon as possible before teachers hit their personal maximum for how many letters they are willing to write this year.

Normally, students would ask their teachers in person. Now, a brief, gracious email would be an ideal way to ask.

Guidance and college counselors are required to write recommendation letters for each of their students. It also may be a good idea for the student to email their counselor to see if he or she needs any information – or maybe would even be willing to set up a time to speak on the phone.

Oftentimes, counselors will distribute “brag sheets” for students and parents to fill out. This is an extremely efficient and effective way for them to collect information on your student that they can use for their recommendation letters.

If your counselor has not sent a brag sheet yet, ask if they are planning to do so in the coming weeks. If they have sent you one already, then have fun taking the time to fill it out and celebrate and share what you appreciate most about your child! Be sure to share specific stories and anecdotes about your child.

If any teacher or counselor spends time speaking with your student, make sure your son or daughter emails them to say thank you and express their gratitude especially in light of the national circumstances.



There are always a few questions on the Common App that students never seem to have the answers to when they are filling out the application. Here are the FAQs that your student may want to send to their counselor:
  • What is your [the counselor’s] preferred phone number?
  • What is your [the counselor’s] job title?
  • What is the approximate size of my graduating class?
  • Do we have class rankings?
  • What is our GPA scale?
  • Are my senior year courses finalized?
At the end of junior year, make sure your student gets a copy of his or her end-of-year transcript wit the most recent GPA that will get reported on the application.
If you or your student have questions about choosing recommenders or other questions related to college applications and essays, please do not hesitate to email us or call (267) 888-6489 anytime.