17 Things You Should Know Before Applying to College
Collaborative Article by the Teen Press Corps
- Make a list. You have to figure out where you want to apply, what qualities you want in a school, what major you want to pursue, etc…
2. Set aside time for applications. They will take longer than you think. Make copies of your essays in separate documents to save back-ups, because the online forms will sometimes reset on you.
3. Don’t procrastinate! This is a long and stressful process, and the longer you put it off, the more stressed out you’ll become. And you may simply miss opportunities because you didn’t manage your time better. Nothing is worse than not getting a scholarship because you didn’t apply.
4. Don’t dismiss a school because you haven’t heard of them or because it’s all you’ve ever heard of. Keep an open mind about schools. You’ll be surprised what characteristics become important to you.
5. Get your standardized tests done early. Often times, you’ll feel the need to retake a test until you get your ideal score, so alot yourself the time to study and retest. Keep in mind that these tests tend to take 4-6 weeks to return scores, so start early in order to meet deadlines.
6. Consider your financial abilities and restrictions. Research loans and scholarships, every little bit helps. Know which schools give out the best student assistance. Start saving up in high school (books cost a lot!), and know if you’ll be able to find a part-time job during school. And also know what’s simply out of the realm for you. Consider community college for pre-reqs, check out high school dual enrollment, see what you can get done early for a bargain, and save the big money for the degree.
7. Don’t forget extracurriculars. Academics are important, but they want to know “you” as a whole person. Find things that you’re passionate about to participate in.
8. Get to know your teachers and mentors. They’re the ones writing your recommendation letters. The longer you know them, the better they know you. And just because you have a good grade in their class, doesn’t mean they’ll write a great letter for you.
9.Keep your social and public profiles in check. Some colleges will check Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
10. Get to know yourself. You’re going to be talking about yourself a lot this year, presenting yourself in word and in person. You need to know you the best, and be able to sell you the best.
11. Don’t let anyone tell you what’s right for you.
11. Get input from someone who is doing what you may be interested in doing one day. There are many paths to any job, and understanding how someone got their is some of the best inside scoop you can get.
12. Stay connected with people you meet in life. They’re you’re connections to the industry you may be trying to break into one day.
13. Don’t let this process stress you out. It’s not the end of the world. If you don’t get in right away, who’s to say you won’t get in later. It’s ok not to have everything figured out.
**This is just our advice from our experiences.
Ideas for Juniors:
Get to know your Junior teachers! It was emphasized above but this is super important. Create rapports with them and show them what your capabilities are.
Start making a list of your awards and accomplishments thus far and add on as needed. It’s easy to forget about freshman year amidst the madness of your senior year.
Get to know college representatives from the