Do’s and Dont’s of my experience applying to College
DO-Research a Range of Universities
Applying to colleges is a super intimidating process, it’s convenient to take the easy route and apply for the colleges that you know and that your friends are applying to. But there are a lot of opportunities out there. You will be surprised to know what other schools, big or small may have to offer. One thing I wish I did during the application process was looking more into different colleges and expanding my range. My advice here is to go to as many open houses as you can and research as much as you can about as many colleges as you can!
DO-Have an Application Plan
Make sure you apply to a wide variety of schools such as a safety, match and reach. Understand what has to be done with your application options (Early Action, Early Decision, Rolling/Regular). Apply early to be eligible for scholarships and special programs that you’re interested in. Check out scholarships, there are scholarships for just about anything. Also, apply for financial aid, regardless of your family’s income. There is no harm in trying!
DO- Take your time.
Start your college applications well in advance of when they are due. This is a serious process that requires care and effort. You will be submitting your best work, so you shouldn’t do anything last minute. Setting aside a few hours each week to work on your college research and applications will help you manage and prevent any unnecessary stress. Start during the summer of your senior year, sure it's your summer vacation but that's not as important as your future!
DON'T - Forget about School Work
Often, high schoolers do get overwhelmed and forget what is right in front of them. I suggest that you focus on your school work just as much as your college work (but don’t overwork yourself). Know which classes you need to pass and focus more on them. Don’t stress out over a few points, but remember colleges will look at your final transcripts as well!
DON'T- Let your parents do it for you.
College is your first step into responsible adulthood. That starts with the application process. Hold yourself accountable and show the school’s you’ve got what it takes. If your parents are running the show it typically makes admission counselors wonder why the students aren’t getting as involved. Take charge, don’t depend on them, and work for what you want!
DON'T- Miss the deadlines.
Seriously. Hence the “Do’s” of this articles.Those deadlines aren’t suggestions—they’re imperative to follow. Missing them can make the difference in getting into the college of your dreams, or anything else you intend to apply for. The difference between you and your goals is ACTION. Take ACTION and send your college applications before the deadline.
The Top 3 Most Important Tips When Applying for College
Choosing a college can be one of the most exciting and difficult parts when pursuing an education after high school. There are so many choices that it could be rather hard when trying to find the one that best suits you. You have to ask yourself questions like whether or not you want to dorm? What colleges offer your major? Are you eligible for any scholarships or financial aid? This article will cover all the essential questions needed to discover the college that is perfect for you.
Attend College Fairs
The best way to discover new colleges is to attend college fairs. A college fair is an event where representatives from colleges will meet one-on-one with high school students to answer any questions that the student might have. It can seem intimidating at first, so it’s important that you prepare in all the right ways first. Research the colleges that are attending the event, ask any questions that you might have, and make a good first impression. You may even be given the opportunity to set up a meeting with the college in the future as well to discuss enrollment. College fairs are a great resource for doing any college research. Plan ahead, and get the most out of the college fair.
One of the most overlooked things to do when looking for a college is to get advice. Getting advice from someone who went to college can really help you in finding your college. The best person you can ask is your guidance counselor. Your guidance counselor will help guide you in the right direction and show you all the necessary steps needed to get into college. You’ll learn all the important information such as open house dates, SAT requirements, and deadlines for applications. As long as you are on top of all these requirements, your chances of getting into college will greatly increase.
Finally, the last step needed to find your choice of college is to visit the campus on open house dates. When it comes to college searching, visiting the campus is the most important thing to do in order to get a feel of the environment and the campus itself. An open house usually consists of a campus tour and the opportunity to hear from professors and other students currently enrolled. Think of the open house as a warm welcome to potential students. After your visit is over, remember to reflect on what you saw and what you experienced. Ask yourself whether or not you want to attend that college. If you feel like you enjoyed the visit and love the look of the campus and the staff there, as well as if they have all the academic programs that benefit your major, consider enrolling in that college.
How to Choose the College that’s Right for You
As we progress through our high school years the thought of college becomes more important and more difficult. We must now start to think about what we’re going to do in the future and where we have to go to get there. Choosing colleges can seem overwhelming and stressful but it’s important to know what exactly you are looking for. A few questions you can ask before starting your college search is how much money you are willing to pay or have for college. Depending on where you want to go, what college, or how much financial aid and scholarships you receive, prices may vary. If it becomes financially difficult to attend college or your grades weren’t scored very high, a community college could be an option for you. Also, prices are much lower and you can attend for the first two years, and improve your grades and transfer to a four-year college.
If neither is a problem for you, a four- year college could be an option for you. However now you must ask yourself what your housing situation will be, what major you would like to study, and the types of programs/activities you wish to participate in. These are very important items to consider as you research what colleges you would like to apply to.
Choosing a major should be the first thing to do when looking for colleges. Colleges vary with their programs in a specific field and may have a better program compared to others that are not as focused in the field you would like to be in. When you start the college search, looking at the list of majors they provide is helpful in determining whether that college is an option for you. After finding your major, you should also look into the programs that cater to the major you have chosen.
Your housing situation is very important as that is how you will be living for the next four years. Now ask yourself, Do I want to attend a college that is in- or out-of-state? If you would like to stay in-state, you may choose whether you want to commute or dorm. Depending on how far the college is, you may be able to commute back and forth. But if the college far, you may want to look into dorming or living nearby off campus.
Colleges also have many activities, sports, and clubs that may be of interest to you. If you are a student-athlete and want to continue in college, you may want to consider the colleges’ sports programs. If you think you may qualify for a Division 1 or 2 college, that college may be an option for you. These are some questions you should ask before applying and remember to do start sooner rather than later.