With the New Year, by the lunar calendar just around the corner, it is that time of the year to start thinking about an update to your applications – whether for boarding school or university. Both sets of schools are in the process of reading your application and no doubt there are a few things that you can report on since you submitted your application.
Why is this important? First of all this lets schools know that you are still thinking about them. It may have been quite a while since you last contacted your schools and most likely there are things that have happened they should know about. What should you update them on? Awards, projects, improved grades, special events, or even something like an important connection you have made.
What you shouldn’t do is send them packages, posters, food, or other gifts. Send a short, concise and well-worded email directly to the admissions officer at the school. If you interviewed with an admission officer, that is your contact. If you don’t know who to write – check the school’s website to see who covers your region or area.
Remember wording is about who you are as a person. If you are sending a letter to either a boarding school or a college, remember that this is a “professional’ email so the wording should reflect a professional attitude. This is not the time or place to blah, blah blah. Get to the point about what you are sharing. A bullet form email is a great idea to share those important aspects you are updating them on. Nor is this email to let them know XX School is your dream school. Your email is implying that they are a first choice school for you.
While you are thinking about updating your applications, it is also important that you monitor the status of your application. Check to make sure that all of your materials have been submitted. By this time test scores, letters of recommendation, transcripts etc… should all be in your file. CHECK your Spam email to make sure that you have not missed an email from any of your schools.
If you are missing something, please speak with your counselor if it is a school-related document like a transcript or letter of recommendation. A reminder that sending scores from College Board (SAT) or ETS (TOEFL) take some time to arrive at their destination. In the world of immediate communication, it is important to remember that some things do take time – test scores are one of those take time things.
If you are currently a Junior or in the process of thinking about applying to any school, now is the time to start doing some research as well as applying to Summer Programs. There are literally thousands of options for both. Be aware that some summer programs have very strict deadlines and for very competitive programs that deadline may have already past. It is also important to note that it is not where you go for summer programs, but what you do and what you learn. And, not everything has to be about schoolwork. Go do something really interesting. Too many students do the same thing and come across as robots rather than individuals.
So while you’re on vacation for CNY, spend some time getting either research on schools done or applying to summer programs. Preferably both!
Spend some time with family, enjoy the celebration and Xin Nian Kuai Le!!!