Many of our current high school seniors have already received rejection letters like the one above, from Williams College. Students will be receiving many more such letters as regular decision applications are considered. While no student is guaranteed admission to any college, each year, thousands of students approach college admission in a complete state of denial. For example, through a variety of websites (e.g., College Results Online, CollegeData, Cappex, College Greenlight, etc.) students can identify the type of grades and test scores of students offered admission to selective colleges, as well as the geographical locations where students live.

While we do not know what type of candidate the student was who received the rejection letter from Williams College, the student should have engaged in a realistic self-assessment to determine how competitive of a candidate they were when compared to the typically pool of admitted students.

The graphic below, profiles how many students attended Williams College from each state as example of the potential state-level competition.

Narrative: While you may not be interested in applying to the top liberal arts college in the United States, you must engage in an honest self-assessment as you begin the second semester of your junior year of high school.

Set up a new page in your Narrative Document with the following heading:

Name of your Cohort
Narrative: Self-assessment
Day Month Year

Cut and Paste each of the following writing prompts into your Narrative Document.

Academic Writing Prompt (Performance): Summarize your first semester academic performance. List each class taken and grade received.

Academic Writing Prompt (Future Course Taking): Based on your first semester academic performance, list each projected class that you would like to schedule during the first semester of your senior year.

Academic Writing Prompt (Class Rank and Test Scores): What is your current GPA (weighted and unweighted); class ranking; and highest scores for each section of the SAT and ACT exams.

Academic Questions:

  • Which exam will you be focusing on, i.e., the SAT or ACT?
  • Are you planning to take the exam between January and March?
  • Are you planning to retake the exam, in an attempt to attain your highest test scores, by June or July?
  • What are your test score goals (e.g., ACT Composite of 30+, SAT Math of 700+; Reading 600+)?

Employment Writing Prompt:Are you anticipating any change in employment, or position? If so, list the expected changes.

Community Service Writing Prompt:What is your community service plan? For example, to continue in your current activities; tp align your community service with your branding such as an athletic volunteering to coach youth sports; a musician volunteering to teach students at a Boys and Girls Club; or a high academically performing student volunteering to assist lower income students increase their reading skills or volunteering in an after school tutoring program.

Extracurricular Activity Writing Prompt:What is your extracurricular activity plan? For example, will you continue in the same activities; are you accepting leadership for implementing a new initiative; or will you be attending a special conference or competition?

Leadership Writing Prompt:What is your leadership plan? For example, will you be assuming one or more leadership roles in your activities; will you be running for an office in student government; are you planning to attend a summer leadership camp; or will you be creating a club or nonprofit?

Honors and Awards Writing Prompt:What honors and awards are you pursuing or anticipating being award. For example, are you pursuing an AP Scholar designation, varsity letter; being selected to the All-State Chorus; being selected to the Honors Band; being inducted into one or more honor societies; being selected as a Junior Marshal; or being selected to an All-Conference or All-State athletic team?

Narrative: My Goals: Based on your self-assessment of your current performance and projected goals with each of the areas outlined, summarize your goals for the second semester of your junior year of high school within each category:

My Academic Goals:

My Employment Goals:

My Community Service Goals:

My Leadership Goals:

My Honors and Awards Goals:

Final Action: The final action for the January Module is to update your 'Profile Form' with your grades, leadership, activities, etc. What is reflected in your multi-page profile should be consistent with what is reflected in your résumé.