Are you a junior or senior high school student and your life is constantly bombarded with questions on finding the right college for you?
These questions can range from where you’re going to college to how you’ll be able to afford tertiary education to your choice of major, and much more. All these can be overwhelming especially when combined with everything else that you still need to do while in high school.
That’s all part of the process – a very short but significant phase that can help steer you toward your goals. Everything you need to do during this time will definitely serve as a good test run for college life, and beyond.
Needless to say your college admissions journey can be very stressful but all that is manageable with proper preparation. Here are 10 helpful steps you can take when you’re getting ready to apply for college.
1. Create a solid list of universities or colleges to apply for early.
Determine which schools offer the courses that you truly want to study so you can review their admissions requirements and other pertinent details, such as how much it will cost you to study there. Also, prepare for a school visit to narrow down your top picks. Working with an academic advisor or a college admissions consultant can help you obtain information about the schools you’re considering and even those you don’t know about that have a good program for the courses you wish to take.
2. List all the documents you need for application.
Though you may want to take the digital application route, you will still need other papers to fill up, file and submit such as your recommendation letters, essays, transcripts and other forms. With a list of document requirements for each university or course, it will be easier to stay organized when mailing your documents to your target schools.
3. Grow your knowledge even more.
Don’t just focus on getting good grades in school, make sure that you’re actually learning and retaining relevant, actionable information. Make studying a daily habit, read your lessons, and take the time to do practice tests. Basically, make the effort to increase what you know that would prove valuable when you take the SAT and ACT.
4. Understand yourself better.
This will help you greatly when you write your essay and present yourself in interviews. You want to make sure that you’re presenting your authentic best self and you’re not just targeting to impress. Universities often look for more than grades and accomplishments. They place importance on the interests, values and plans of applicants as well, so examine yourself and get a better sense of who and what you are.
5. Build up on valuable experiences.
Volunteer work and part-time job experiences will add weight to your college application process. Volunteering, particularly, can be the perfect demonstration of your involvement in your community, your ability to manage your time well, and that you’re actually a well-rounded person. Your school may have volunteer programs that you can sign up for. You may also check with your city hall to learn about community services that can use your help.
6. Form a support group.
Family, friends, relatives, classmates and other groups you belong to such as your church or community organization rallying behind you will be a huge help. Creating a support group will ensure you’re always on top of the things that you need to do. They can remind you of important dates or schedules, provide you the encouragement you need to keep on going even when things are stressful and difficult. Your parents can even make sure that you always have the food and vitamins you need to support your physically and mentally demanding responsibilities.
7. Practice for your interviews.
When the time comes for an interview, you want to make sure that you already know what your replies should be and what you should sound like. You don’t want to sound like you memorized everything (even if you did). Get someone to ask you all kinds of questions to help you prepare for the impromptu speeches you will make for interviews.
8. Invest in services that can boost the quality of your essays.
This is very useful especially if writing is not your strongest suit. College essay editing services will assess the quality of your essay and ascertain that it is free from typographical and grammatical errors, which can make you come off as a sloppy person, or someone who still doesn’t have a good command of the English language.
9. Apply for a scholarship.
This is particularly important not only in taking care of the cost of college education but also in motivating you to work as hard as you can in high school. If you’re interested in expanding your horizons and feel that you’re qualified, you may also want to consider applying for scholarships abroad.
10. Create your backup plan.
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, right? Having a backup plan for when things don’t turn out the way you want them to can provide you a sense of certainty about the future. College consulting services can provide you access to an organized system that will cover every step of the way as you develop your application timeline, plan your extracurricular activities and internships, practice for tests, prepare for campus visit and interviews, and more. Your applications will be fully supervised, making the process more focused and efficient.
College applications can be stressful, but it can also be meaningful, fun and in the end, successful with careful planning and strategic thinking. Enjoy your journey!