FORT WORTH – Cami Alexander just heard the bell ring for Round Two.
Her son, Chase, is already in the engineering program at the University of Texas.
Her daughter, Chloe, is off to TCU, a process she started in ninth grade with both kids, much like Anne Turnao.
“Make your essay not repeat your resume,” said Turano, who has two girls, Catherine and Elizabeth, now at Texas A&M.
These moms have advice to share, starting with applications. They say most schools post them online a year in advance.
“Get those applications those essays written the summer before the first day of their senior year,” said Turano.
Volunteer early, they say, so it doesn't look like the student is only doing it for the resume boost.
“You have to overshoot the mark, you don't know what they want, so let's do more volunteer work than we think we need,” said Alexander.
Then –– and listen closely to this one –– make sure to clean up any social media accounts from years back.
“They need to go back and be sure they're careful what they are posting, because the schools are checking that,” said Turano.
Then, they stress grades, grades and more grades. Push the child hard early on, as senior year doesn't hold as much weight.
“Those freshman and sophomore grades count so much, by the time they are a Junior that grade point average doesn't move very much,” said Turano.
“In the end some schools say they'll look at that, that they'll look at your transcript and they hope you'll make a lower grade in a harder class, that you challenged yourself. But for so many of them it comes down to the number and the class rank,” said Alexander.
Be well rounded, but choose something to dig deep and show dedication.
“You need to be in a few and you need to be a leader,” said Turano.
Also keep in mind that having an employment history is a growing plus.
“Employment now is really important, they want to know you can hold down a part time job,” said Alexander.
If parents can afford a SAT/ACT prep class, they’re advised to do it. If not, buy the book and study yourself.
“It’s so different from my generation. We just showed up and took the SAT, now everyone is taking a prep class. The scores are higher because everyone is taking a prep class,” said Turano.