Hello and happy Super Sunday to you seniors and parents of seniors,

I’m going to keep this short and sweet as I get ready to watch Tom Brady and Tampa Bay take on the Chiefs. I’m rootin’ for Tom and his team, but my prediction is Chiefs will roll, 38 to 10. Let’s hope I’m wrong!

Those of you who have been meeting with me know about my idea of sending a “follow letter package” at this time to each of the schools you’ve applied to and have not already heard back from. Also known as the “Love Letter”, it’s purpose is to let each school know that you’re out there, and to gracefully and eloquently apprise them that:

“I’m-one-of-your-applicants-and-of-course-it’s-evident-that-I’m-the-type-of-student-you’re-looking-for-but-I-know-sometimes-you-miss-the-obvious-so-allow-me-to-make-it-crystal-clear-why-you’d-be-a-total-nincompoop-if-you-don’t-accept-me-with-open-arms-and-(for those schools which give merit aid)-with-maximum-merit-awards.”

Get the picture?

Now this follow package should include a cover letter, a mid-year report of what’s shakin’ in your world (semester grades, new classes, new activities and pursuits, awards, etc. etc.) and one or more of the following I’ve told you all along to collect and make ready:

* an annotated resume (if you didn’t already send it with your original application)

* an essay they haven’t seen (maybe a supplemental piece of writing you wrote for another college that’s good?)

* another letter of recommendation, or two

* a “show and tell” piece they’ve not seen*.

Your cover letter should explain that you’re sending one or more of the above, and further explain it’s because you really really want to be accepted. And yes, you can fib a bit and tell every college that they’re your top choice (all’s fair in love and – to a degree- college admissions).

* if you don’t know what a “show and tell piece” is, you haven’t been paying attention! Call me!

Here’s an example of a cover letter. Yes you can use it as a template for your own letter.

(note that this is an example for a class of 2020 graduate – you’re the class of 2021 so change the date, and say you’re applying to the college class of 2025, not 2024. Ya dig?)

Listen – many of the selective colleges won’t make decisions till mid-to-late March, so the timing of this is to drop it in their lap now as they’re “in committee” trying to decide.

So now you have something you can do instead of waiting nervously and playing ‘Fortnite’ and ‘Among Us’ in your spare time.

Those are your marching orders – Onward!

If anyone wants to send me what they’ve come up with I’ll give you my take on whether or not it’s worth sending.

PARENTS: …when your illustrious student is accepted by each college you should expect to receive his/her financial aid award within a week or so. Make sure your son/daughter is checking their student portals for the award – many times they’re posted there first. If you have questions about understanding the award, and/or if you want some advice on how to appeal (don’t say “negotiate”) an award you’ve received, give me a holler. That’s why I’m here.

From your loquacious illuminator, your didactic doyen, your hilarious haranguer, your perspicacious padrone,

Gary the College Guy

P.S. …yes, you can (and should) share this with your friends, neighbors, and anyone else who would benefit from getting “the straight story” about all this college hoopla. I’d appreciate it! Lord knows there aren’t many others giving you the information you should know.