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Here Are The 8 Things You Must Do When Applying To College

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College Application

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Getting into a good college may make or break your future career plans, so applying for schools could be stressful. If you read this after you’ve applied for the school of your dreams, keep in mind that general advice should be taken generally, with exceptions to every rule. Otherwise, you can always pray.

Some of you are going to use this advice to help get into your dream school; others will use this in the hopes of getting into any school. I’m not here to judge, just apply.

If it’s too late for you, find some nice juniors to send this too!

College Application

Source: Shutterstock.com

Start early!

You want your school to consider you. You want them to want you. Expose yourself to them as early as you can and you’ll convince said school you are studious and well-organized. It also helps that if you get to them early, since the people in charge of admissions might get “tired” by the time they reach the later admissions.

Grades and test scores are still the most important

Your GPA is so important schools might even retroactively rescind people they’ve already accepted due to a serious dip in grades. Schools might overlook one low grade, presumably taken in a higher level course or an elective, but this is the time in your life your GPA can determine your fate. Sure, you’ll learn the hard way this isn’t usually the case when looking for a job, but for now, it is. That said, grades are still only the starting point.

Schools want certain skills in addition to good grades

Whether you prove yourself through a surplus of extracurricular activities or nifty letters of recommendation, keep in mind the schools usually want to see leadership, empathy, optimism, grit or perseverance. As risky as it is, though, any gimmick you have that showcases these values could make all the difference.

Take advantage of any advantage (or even disadvantage) you can!

If you are a low-income student, remember that this is one of the few times that being a low-income anything is a good thing. Schools have become more and more interested in helping students from various backgrounds have access to higher education, so always make sure to emphasize your background in your application.

You still need to pay…

Yeah, remember when I just implied a few seconds ago that it isn’t always fun having a low-income. Well, as much as colleges want to help low-income students these days, they still want money for their services. Qualified students who can’t clearly explain how they will be able to afford to attend the school in your application. Also, apply for whatever scholarships you can. Ask guidance counselors for whatever scholarships are available and that you qualify for. Make that prom dress out of duct tape!

Being a legacy won’t be your salvation!

Being a legacy was traditionally seen as a way to cement your future, though now things have changed. Giving someone preference to a student over things they can’t control, like who their parents are, is just bad PR these days. In fact, there are schools that favor first-generation students. On the reverse, it also means you have other choices than just applying to your parents’ schools.

Still, exploiting connections is never a bad idea!

It’s usually good advice to apply to as many schools as you can, both to give you choices and because you won’t get accepted everywhere. That said, the schools themselves still want to be your first choice. Try to make a personal connection to the school, even trying to contact officials to interview. Once again, this isn’t the best advice when looking for a job; applying excessively for a job or even at a single company is an easy way to get yourselves blacklisted.

Apply only once!

Usually, after you submit your application, you’ll get a confirmation email. If not, try to contact their admissions office to confirm that they actually got your application. Applying more than once is an easy way to get yourself blacklisted. Strangely enough, this also applies to job applications. Also, to be clear, it is also safer to apply for college online than by mail. Once again, this is also good advice for job applications.


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