A college application process is just one of the many stresses you’ll encounter when trying to make the transition to your new academic endeavor. Choosing where you will spend the next four years of your life is one of the bigger decisions you will make, so being prepared is of the utmost importance.
All the clubs you’ve been a part of in high school are a big plus in selling yourself to your schools of choice, as are your GPA and SAT scores. However, you’ll need to make sure that all your accomplishments and accolades are highlighted to give you the best chance of receiving that all-important acceptance letter.
Write a solid essay
Even if you do consider yourself a gifted writer, this can be a tricky part of the process. Write about your experiences in school and how they’ve molded you into the person you are. Try not to come off as too pretentious or arrogant, but do highlight that you possess self-confidence and you are a hard worker.
You can also mention role models, such as teachers and family, but make sure to make yourself the main aspect of your essay. Mention how the college you are applying to would give you the opportunity to further your dreams and why it’s so important that you attend the school. It doesn’t have to be over the top, just something that shows how much you can benefit from the show.
Maximize your options
Just in case things don’t work out with the school of your dreams, make sure you align yourself with several other options. The application process may be pricey and time consuming, but it’s a worthy investment nonetheless. Maybe you’ll find a school that offers programs that suddenly speak to you. You’re allowed to change your mind throughout the long process and giving yourself other opportunities is in your best interest.
Ask for help
Have teachers and counselors guide you through the process. No, they won’t give you all of the answers. But they have a good knowledge of what the colleges are looking for in an application. They’ll remind you to include several required documents. They can also aid you in the essay-writing process. Also, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, counselors can help you form a game plan that fits your schedule.
Get a couple of good recommendation letters
Receiving glowing recommendation letters is a huge plus. It lets the admissions office know that you are a model student who takes your studies seriously. It’s especially important to find a teacher that knows you well so he or she can offer the best and most personal description of your assets and accomplishments.
There is a plethora of websites dedicated to helping students with the application process. They aren’t to help you plagiarize (which under no means should be done) but to give you guidance and let you know what the admissions office looks for in an application. Books are also available on the subject.
Double check and revise
You want these applications to be signed, sealed and delivered as soon as possible but not at the expense of quality. Before the process even begins, form a list of everything you need done. As far as your essay, make sure you thoroughly proofread each sentence. The slightest mistake can hurt your chances in such a competitive field of applicants.
This is sound advice in any circumstance during your academic tenure, but it especially holds true in getting your applications done. The last thing you want is to do a rush job on your essay, which will likely result in subpar quality. Teachers are busy and chasing them down to write recommendation takes a lot of time. Make sure the time-sensitive aspects of your application are done first.