It (F)all Comes Down to This!

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
— Theodore Roosevelt

College Essay Clean Up

  • 11 tips for a polished and well-edited essay.

Application Deadlines

Each school has their own specific application deadline calendar and there are several options for when your mentee can apply, with varying benefits in each category:

  • Regular Decision (RD) - due early January

  • Early Action (EA) - can be deferred to RD, due early November

  • Early Decision (ED) - binding contract, also due early November

  • Rolling Admissions (RA) - due between Fall and Spring, generally a priority deadline in November

Reach for the Scores

Should they take the SAT or ACT one last time? If your mentee is within 30 points of their goal (for a scholarship or admissions requirement, or personal best!), we say go for it! Universities will handle SAT/ACT test scores differently, each depending upon its own policies. Some schools will average scores while others will only look at your highest overall score. Many schools will take your highest score on each of the three sections and combine the three scores to make one “super score.”

College Application Completion

  • 10 Tips to finish the process strong.

Complete Financial Aid Forms

Every student completes a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with up to ten colleges to receive that information. Once submitted to the Dept. of Education your mentee will know how much they are eligible for in the Federal Financial Aid programs: Pell Gran, Work-Study, and Student Loans. The schools use this information to package a financial aid offer for your student.

Letter of Recommendation

Of course you should write your mentee a reference letter! Hopefully you have plenty of praises to sing, but a little guidance is always helpful, so here you go:

Your student should also request a letter from the teacher(s) that challenged them; from the classes with progress that gives them the most pride.


Desiree Webb-Oftedal