August brings a new cycle of college admissions. If you’re a rising senior, structure your approach so you feel ready with a plan. The college app process can and will bring A LOT of extra opinions, judgements, and spark just an added undertone of stress. “It’s a crazy year, admissions is getting more selective…” “No one’s getting in” and “I have my one school and if I don’t get in, well that’s it.” You might want to game the system, understand exactly if and when you’ll get in, and scour admission data to see if your GPA is a match. You’ll hear your peers talk about how they’ve already started things, how they heard this one trick that’ll change the game on their application.
Keep in mind, college admissions is not a straightforward process, but you can streamline it as best as you can for YOU. You can strategize when to present the best application for the best chance of admission and take the time to utilize the spaces on the application in your favor. Applying to a balance list of colleges is super key, so do take the time to research which schools you’re applying to and get to know your options. There’s a full post linked below to the page.
Understand your deadlines (early, regular, etc.) and apply to the deadlines where you’ll present the best application for the strongest chance of admission. More on that in a later post. Remember, most colleges want to admit students and the minority are accepting below 15% acceptance rates. Phew!
Set boundaries for yourself and decide what schools matter to you based on your own preferences. Utilize your counselor, and speak with admission counselors from prospective universities you’re thinking about applying to. Over the next week, I’ll release a series of blog posts more in detail about the various components of the college application, but for now, I’ll leave you with a quick bullet list of some key items you can get started on.
- Create college list
- Know where to apply and game plan HOW to apply (which online application, which deadline, what’s needed, etc.) You might change/add schools and that’s OKAY, just have an idea to start
- Don’t be afraid to research a school you’ve never heard of, or talk to a table at a college fair and see if it’s a school you might be interested in
- Knowing you’ll have a home next fall because you have a couple schools that fit your vibe and you know you’re likely to get into will eliminate a ton of stress from the start
- Creating your online college application accounts (Common App, Coalition, UC, ApplyTexas, on the college’s website, etc.)
- Decide which application deadline(s) you’re applying to
- Use an organization tool to keep track of all the moving parts
- Review essay prompts, begin drafting your main personal statements and expect supplemental shorter essays with each school
- Request letters of recommendation from teachers/counselors and any additional materials such as transcripts and what not
- Reach out to admission counselors representing the universities you’re applying to and attend any local events, high school visits, and asking questions so they can help support your application through the process
Lastly, set a boundary for when you want to take a break from college applications. Find the things that help you clear your mind and help you disconnect when you feel a bit overloaded. For me, it’s surfing, staring at the ocean or a long walk without my phone. Find yours and use it as a resource!
Here’s to your college apps!!