SC Governor's School for Science & Mathematics
December 26, 2016
Our Director of Admissions, Steven Cote, and our Director of Recruitment, Brigitte Barnett, have written up a few pieces of advice for you while you're working on your GSSM application! Check them out:
It’s Day 2 of our 12 Days of Application Season and today I’m going to share with you some secrets for finishing the writing parts of your application! Specifically, this information will be most useful in the essay and short answer responses. But, you might find some of these tips helpful in other parts of the application and affirming your decision to apply to GSSM. Without further ado let’s begin!
Whether you come for Preview Day, Shadow Day, or a campus tour you just HAVE to see our school to make sure you get the flavor of GSSM before you apply. Perhaps you came for GoSciTech as a ninth grader? That’s fine, too! Seeing our school, being in the classrooms and spending time with eager and talented students that just like you helps you envision a future as a Govie and that will translate to a better application.
Read the writing prompts. Read them again and as often as you need. Consider building 1 or 2 outlines for all of the writing prompts before you decide which will be your essay and which will be short answer. Pursue the prompts that allow the most interesting and robust responses.
Thanks to your standardized scores we have a pretty good idea of how much information you’ve retained and how well you test, and your transcript will tell us lots about your in-class abilities. These writing prompts will give you the best chance to share your story with us. When crafting your responses, you should find ways to illustrate your achievements and abilities. You should find ways to highlight obstacles you’ve overcome, too.
Plan a realistic deadline to finish (well before the application deadline). Plan additional deadlines for rough drafts and editing that you wish to receive from your parents and/or your teachers. Giving yourself extra time will allow you to properly resolve freak-out moments – just in case you decide to scrap your draft.
The earlier you finish, the sooner you can relax! You’ll thank yourself later! On February 1, you’ll be competing with about 250 other students for bandwidth within our system. It will be slow-moving and you’ll be stressing if you wait. Do it early.
I remember Christmas vacation my sophomore year in high school…I sat at the dining room table with a huge envelope from GSSM and papers with sticky notes spread all around me. After visiting the School, I knew that was where I belonged and I could not wait to get my application turned in! Back in the dark ages we completed written applications, wrote essays on notebook paper and packaged everything up in one huge envelope. Aah, memories!
A lot has changed in the way of technology and courses offered since I was applying to GSSM, but the excitement and the unparalleled opportunities remain. For many students, this break from school is a great time to work on the short answer questions and essay for the GSSM application. With many friends and family around, holiday gatherings can be a great time to share your desire to attend GSSM and brainstorm about activities and accomplishments you want to highlight in your application as well as discuss essay topics.
Here are my tips to approaching the GSSM application:
Submit part 1 of the application as soon as possible. Take that first step. Then submit each step as you complete it.
Choose a goal, like January 21, for completing all student parts of the application. Then pace yourself to complete it. Although the deadline to submit the application is February 1, you want time to review your work, get feedback from others and check in with your teachers and guidance counselor about their evaluations.
Remember most of the application reviewers will have never met you so you need to let your unique personality show through the application. It is okay (and encouraged) to brag about your accomplishments. What makes you stand out? What unique qualities do you have to add to the community at GSSM?
Use the resources available to you. Schedule a visit to campus. Meet with your local recruiter at a Drip-in or schedule an individual meeting. Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media.
Do not let fear of the unknown hold you back from applying. Complete the application. You never know what opportunities could be waiting for you!
I love working with applicants and sharing their excitement as they go through this process. Applying to GSSM was the best educational decision I ever made. Attending GSSM helped develop my character, encouraged my desire to always want to know how and why, and opened the door to endless possibilities. For me, there are no limits! I believe you can #GetHereGetAnywhere