Choosing where to go to college can feel overwhelming, and standing out in the application process can be daunting. But by thinking about your experiences, passions, and plans early on, you can set yourself apart from the rest of the competition.
Here’s what you all should know.
Thinking about college
The college search process begins your sophomore or junior year of high school. It is when you should start thinking about college, what you want to study, and the type of college experience you want. You’ll also want to research different colleges early on and take a campus search to get a feel for each school.
You can also start thinking about extracurricular activities that you’re passionate about and ways to make your application stand out. Participating in activities outside of school will help improve your application and give you a sense of accomplishment and confidence as you head into college.
Learn about college
Here are some tips on what you should do to learn about college to prepare for your college search.
? Request college search catalogs and read them.
? Attend college fairs in your area.
? Visit campuses that interest you.
? Talk to your guidance counselor about colleges that might be a good fit for you.
Things to keep in mind as you start thinking about college
Think about what you want to study. List down different colleges and programs they offer. Consider the college experience you want to have and ask yourself these questions. Do you want to be in a big city or a small town? Do you like to attend a school with many students or a smaller college?
Consider the cost of attendance. Make sure you understand the difference between public and private colleges and how that will affect your tuition.
Think about what you are passionate about outside of school. Are there any organizations or clubs that you’re involved in that you could see yourself doing in college? It could help you find and land a scholarship program that best fits your abilities.
College Search: An Arduous Path
The college application process has been at the forefront of high school students’ minds for years. The SATs, the ACTs, and the list of requirements for each college can be repetitive and monotonous. Here are a few ways to make your application stand out.
Do Your Research
? Thorough research is one way to find colleges that fit you best. Making a list of the advantages and disadvantages of each college will help you evaluate what is most important to you.
? Narrowing down your college search to a handful of schools will save you.
? One way to stand out is by showcasing unique extracurricular activities that showcase your talents and interests. Rather than just listing them on your application, write about specific projects or accomplishments within those activities that demonstrate your dedication and initiative.
? Thinking about college, what you want to study and what career path you hope to pursue will help drive your academic choices and extracurricular involvement. Admissions officers want to see that you have a clear direction for your future and that you are motivated to succeed in college.
You can set yourself up for application success. Thorough research, strategic involvement, and a clear vision for your future will help you stand out from the rest of the competition.
As you begin considering college, you must be prepared and start the application process ahead of time. College applications can be complex and time-consuming, so preparing in advance is vital to plan, organize and complete all the requirements needed.
Thinking about college and what you want to accomplish, you can take a few practical steps to prepare for the college application.
? Create a list of colleges you want to apply to, and note any deadlines.
? Start working on your statement or essay—this is often the most crucial part of your application, so you’ll want to ensure it’s the best it can be.
? Get your letters of recommendation lined up well in advance—teachers and counselors are often very busy, so give them plenty of time to write a strong letter on your behalf.
? Make sure your transcripts and test scores are up to date, and be prepared to send them to your colleges of choice.
Choosing the right college for you
After considering everything you need, narrow down your list of colleges that would incredibly fit your needs and capabilities. It is important to remember that the college you choose should ultimately be a good fit for you.
The best way to find out if a college is a right fit for you is to visit the campus and talk to current students, faculty, and staff. It will give you a better feel for what the school is like and whether or not it would be a good match for you.
Remember, the college application process is unnerving, but by researching and starting early, you can set yourself up for success. Thorough preparation will help you stand out from the rest of the competition and make sure you find the right college for you.
Start thinking about college early and get a head start on the competition
If you’re starting to think about college, it’s not too early. The best way to make your application stand out is to start now and consider what makes you unique.
What things have you done that no one else has? What are your passions and interests? How can you turn those into a future career? We can help you figure all of this out. If you are not still sure where to start, you better seek guidance from professionals for your college search and career decisions.