The summer before senior year is really the best time to get started on college applications. Students have all the time in the world to brainstorm essay topics and to fill out The Common Application www.commonapp.org , which becomes available on August 1, for the 2013-2014 applications cycle. Working on college applications during the school year is challenging for most students. With extra-curricular activities and AP classes, seniors are often overwhelmed with all that they have to do. Where should they put their energy? Students don’t want to let down coaches, advisors, teachers, and employers and have difficulty with time management. Busy parents may not have the time to micromanage all the details of the process. Having an extra pair of experienced eyes and ears can be extremely helpful during this period.