Applying and getting into college is likely one of the biggest tasks you will face in your lifetime.
It requires time, dedication, and a lot of hard work, and with competition for places increasing year on year you need to do everything in your power to stand out. Here are five essential tips to help get you into the college of your dreams.
If you do not fully understand the kind of person that you are, what drives you and excites you, what your goals and aspirations are, then it will be hard to convince a college that you are worth investing in.
While grades are important, colleges want to know that there is a unique individual beneath all those academic scores. Colleges want musicians, athletes, artists, and forward thinkers to populate their college campuses, so before you can even think about your application, you should think about what makes you uniquely you.
Figuring out what kind of person you are is one thing but figuring out what major to take or what college to attend is a whole other minefield.
If you are unsure where to begin then it is worth reaching out to get advice. Your school counselor will have an abundance of information on the college search and acceptance process, and they are your best option to start gathering the information you need to make a decision.
Outside of school, it may also be worth contacting a college admissions consulting service, especially if you are wondering how to get into Ivy League schools.
These services are typically run by former admissions officers and other educational professionals who know the ins and outs of the college admissions process like the back of their hands. They can help you find the college that is right for you and help develop an extracurricular and academic plan to help get admitted to some of the best institutes.
Prepare for the SAT/ACT
Alongside your GPA and high school credentials, your standardized test scores are one of the most important factors in the college admission process.
Therefore, it is best to be prepared. Spend sufficient time studying and practicing mock tests and think about looking around for local prep courses or tutors that can give you that extra edge.
Remember that colleges generally accept both SAT or ACT scores, so if you don’t get the result you want you could always try the other, or retake the tests if you need to.
Get Stuck In
These days the competition for college places is more competitive than ever. One of the best ways to stand out amongst the sea of applicants is to get involved with extracurricular activities.
Involvement in extracurricular activities shows that you are a well-rounded individual who is curious and motivated outside of your general school responsibilities. It shows you will be able to contribute to the life of your college outside of the classroom.
So, figure out what you are passionate about and pursue it, join clubs, or better yet start them, do some volunteer work in your local community, whatever it takes to help you stand out from the pack.
Write an Insightful Application Essay
Your college essay is more than just a test of your writing ability, it is your opportunity to show yourself off and get noticed.
Take the time to craft an engaging narrative of your life; what have you done so far and where do you hope to go next? Why are you a character that is worth investing in?
This is your chance to make an impact, so make multiple drafts and get other people to proofread what you write to make sure your essay is compelling and well laid out.