Getting into the college of your choice is really a two step process. First, you have to spend your high school career preparing yourself for the college admissions process. Then, you have to complete the actual applications and admissions requirements.
Work Hard From Grade 9 -12
High school isn’t all about football games and proms. It is also about taking the right classes, earning a good GPA and participating in extracurricular activities that will help you get into the college of your choice. It is something that students need to start thinking about and acting upon beginning in grade nine. Specifically students should
• Take Challenging Classes
college admissions offices are looking for students who have surpassed the minimum high school graduation requirements by taking a strong academic schedule. Often this means taking more than the required years in one or more of the following subjects: foreign languages, math, English, science or history. Also, it is important to take the highest level courses that you can successfully complete. Colleges are well aware that AP and Honors level classes are more challenging and require more work than other level classes.
• Earn the Best Grades Possible
While it is important to take challenging high level high school classes, it is also important to do well in them. A college is not going to be impressed with your three AP level courses if you continually earn grades of Cs and below in them. Therefore, it is important to maintain the best grades possible in the highest level classes in which you are capable of succeeding.
• Participate in Extracurricular Activities
Most colleges are looking for well rounded students. They want to see your dedication to the things that interest you whether those activities are varsity sports, student government, student newspaper or philanthropic causes.
• Summer Experiences
Summer is a great time to pursue your own interests while showing expanding your resume. A summer job, travel or volunteer opportunity can all be exciting opportunities that also looking good to college admissions officers.
• SAT Prep
Study and consider taking an SAT prep class or working with an SAT tutor so that you can get the best score possible on the college admissions test.
Research Different Colleges and Compile a List
Sometime during your junior year in high school it will be time to start deciding where all of your hard work in high school is going to take you next. You will start to research different colleges and universities. Here are some of the best ways to find the best colleges for you during your college search
• College Admissions Counseling
working one on one with a college admissions counselor who knows the different admission requirements as well as the different student life climates and academics of the colleges and universities can be valuable.
• College Guide
Each year several different college guides are published that give you statistical and anecdotal information about the major colleges and universities.
• College Tour
Once you narrow your list down to your top choices it is important to visit the school and to take a tour. You will be able to observe the students, see the campus and determine whether the college is a good fit for you.
College Admissions Applications
Once the stage has been set and you have done everything possible to put yourself in a strong position to get into the college of your choice and you have the list of colleges to which you will be applying, it is time to start the labor intensive application process. Some of the important parts of the college admissions process include
• College admissions applications
each school has its own admission application. Many schools also accept the common application. No matter which application you fill out, make sure that it is complete and that accurate.
• College admissions essay
this is often the most challenging part for college applicants. It is best to use the essay to highlight a characteristic or experience that sets you apart from other applicants and it is always important to highlight your reasoning and writing skills.
Deciding Where to Attend College
Deciding where to go to college is a difficult decision. However, by following the advice provided above, you will have the honor of receiving many acceptance letters and acing the college admission process. Then, you will be in the position to make the decision for yourself.