If you’re a high school senior reading this post, you’re probably thinking
“HOW IN THE WORLD AM I GOING TO GET INTO COLLEGE”
HAHA it’s your time to suffer! Just kidding. Having gone through the application process ourselves, we’re going to give you some pointers to make your lives easier:
Rule #1: Organization is Key!
Guys, Michael Scott has no idea what he’s talking about. Don’t listen to him.
The summer before senior year is a great time to get started on college applications. Take some time to make a list of all the schools you want to apply to – make sure it’s a good mix of top-tier, second-tier and third-tier schools.
Start researching college/university programs and try contacting admissions offices for additional information.
Once the Common App becomes available on August 1st, create an account and take a look at the essay prompts for the year. Choose a couple of topics that you like and jot down your ideas and thoughts about them.
If you stay organized from the beginning you will have no problem submitting applications when deadlines approach in December/January.
The Common Application (also called Common App) is a college application used by more than 500 colleges/universities in the United States. Applicants are required to fill out their personal and family information, coursework, extra-curricular activities and supplemental questions for each school they apply to.
Although most Early Decision apps are due on November 1 or 15, you should still check in with schools about their early application deadlines.
Rule #2: Talk to Your Counselor About Your College Plans.
Calling your counselor isn’t a bad idea but you know whats better than a phone call, meeting them in person.
Why can’t life have a fast-forward button?
Yay! You are now one-fifths done! The next step in your college application journey is to set up an appointment with your high school counselor.
Your counselor will be your Yoda (pardon the Star Wars reference)
High schools need to be informed about their students’ post-secondary plans so that they can send official transcripts to colleges/universities. This is a long process so it is always good to alert your high school beforehand.
Also take this time to think about teachers who you want to ask for letters of recommendation. Consider teachers who know you inside and outside of the classroom – you want schools to get a holistic view of who you are as an individual.
Don’t be the one who waits till the last minute to ask teachers. It’s a good idea to request teachers at least three weeks in advance so that they have plenty of time to write recommendations for you.
Tip: Thank Teachers You Must.
Rule #3: Triple-check all info before submitting your application.
Filling out college applications can be very tiring and cause applicants to overlook important information. Follow the directions indicated on the application (they are there for a reason).
We know filling out applications can be really tedious but make sure to check, double-check and triple-check all information for accuracy. Colleges/universities reject applications that fail to follow rules or have missing information. You don’t want that to happen to you!
Most schools often ask applicants to submit an essay that is specifically designed for that college/university. Always go back to the prompt when writing and ask yourself if you’re addressing the question.
Here’s a classic scenario: someone who you’ve never met comes up to you and asks you your name. Instead of answering the person’s question, you tell them everything about yourself except for your name. In this situation you’re going completely off-topic. Keep in mind that your essays should be direct and clear from the beginning.
Rule #4: Just Be Yourself!
Piece of cake? LIES.
You don’t have to be Shakespeare to write a college essay! We know it can be a challenging task but it’s actually really simple. Honestly, there’s only one key to writing a stellar college essay
“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde
You’re awesome just the way you are so don’t be afraid to let that awesomeness shine through.
Look at the college essay as an opportunity for YOU to share your thoughts, ideas, stories and experiences with the admissions committee. Take this time to convince schools why you’re better than the rest.
Rule #5: Relax because it’s all going to work out
Hang in there. You got this!
Dude take a chill pill. College is important but its not worth anxiety and night sweats. So just relax and enjoy the rest of your senior year.
If you follow the pointers mentioned above you’re sure to be done with applications days before they’re due!
Good luck and Give That Application Your Best!