Applying to college may seem completely petrifying. Relax! You’re going to be fine. Here are helpful tips on how to get through the college admissions process without breaking too much of a sweat.
- Join extracurricular activities that you’re passionate about. Even better is if you take on a leadership role (founder, President, etc.) in a club or activity you’re really into.
- Get involved in volunteer work. Admission officers prefer to see commitment over a long period of time rather than just one exotic service trip over spring break.
- Figure out three teachers that you may want to ask for a recommendation by the middle of junior year. Engage with them outside of the classroom. Even after they’ve agreed, keep up the good behavior because teachers can always withdraw their recommendations sometime down the line.
Acing the Tests
- Despite contrary rumors, you can study for a standardized test, you just can’t cram. Make sure you’re practicing over a long period of time.
- If you don’t do well the first time around, have no fear. You can take the SATs or ACTs again and possibly improve.
- Take some SAT II tests. Even if it’s not required by your dream college, it will show off your strong subjects.
Picking Your Dream School
- Make a list with two columns - which things you must have in a college and which factors do not matter to you. Then, place these options in either college
- size (both of the school and class size)
- classes offered
- majors offered
- type of student body
- facilities (awesome dorms, state of the art science labs)
- extracurricular activities
- It definitely helps to visit the campus and take a campus tour.
- Compare the financial aid packages when you get accepted. The amount of debt you have when you graduate is definitely something to consider.
Surviving the Dreaded Applications
- The Common Application or some other paperless application is a good way to juggle all those applications, just keep track of the supplements required from each school.
- Open up. They want to learn about the person that you are, so this is your time to brag.
- Write a unique essay. Think of a story that makes you stand out, like a focus on your volunteering experience.
- Give your school a month or two to send colleges your high school transcript.
- Along with applying for college, apply for financial aid, too. Read up on our helpful tips to get you started.
What If You Don’t Get In Anywhere?
- Apply for other schools whose deadlines haven’t passed. If you’re happy at your final school, great! If not, there’s always the option to transfer at some point during your college career.