Tips for Applying to College

Rising seniors about to enter the dreaded college application process, please sit back and realize that the process only lasts a few months. Make sure that you apply to a wide range of schools because where you want to go at the beginning of senior year may not be the same place where you end up in August.

Apply to a school you aren’t sure that you will get into:

There is no perfect application a student can submit. The college admissions boards look for different things when accepting students. Some colleges stress extracurricular activities, while some stress work load. Don’t let a bad SAT score keep you from applying to somewhere out of your range. Where you think you lack somewhere, you may make up for in other places. Try to apply to one reach school because you never know what the admissions board is looking for.

Keep your options open:

Apply to more schools than you think. You may have your heart set on one out-of-state school, but what happens if that school doesn’t give you any scholarship money? Is that school really 40,000 dollars better than an in-state school. Furthermore, what if you get waitlisted at the school you thought was a sure in. You have to find another school to fall in love with. There is also a chance that you would get into every school you applied too. Whatever happens, keep all your options open. Getting into your “backup” school may be more beneficial to go to, because they offered you scholarship money and more academic options.

Don’t let a price tag keep you from applying:

The price of out-of-state schools is about four times the price of a state school. This huge price tag throws parents for a loop- how could one year really cost 50,000 dollars- how do they expect anyone to pay for this? Truth is, private colleges know that they have a hefty price tag and will offer scholarship money and financial aid. Don’t let a price tag keep you from applying. Colleges may surprise you, and your parents.

Don’t let your parents persuade your decision:

Choosing a college is by far the biggest decision a student makes in their young adult life. Although your parents can have a voice, do not let them persuade you out of a college or into another. You need to be happy at the college you are attending. Sure, you may have gotten into a “better” college but if you cannot see yourself a student there, the college is not for you. Go with your gut and where you think you will be the happiest.

Be honest in your application:

Do not fluff your application. Although you are competing with 30,000 other applicants, you have to realize that no applicant is the same as you. You do not need to lie or “fluff” your application to make yourself sound like a better student. Essays and teacher recommendations will help you stand out, not frivolous clubs. Besides, a fluffed application may get you into that better college, but what if you can’t actually handle the workload there? You’ll end up at a college where the students are more qualified and your GPA may suffer. So, tell the truth, and you’ll end up at the college where you belong.


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