1.Know What You Want
To get into the college of your dreams, you must be clear about what you want: your goal in life, ambitions, reasons you want to attend that college or enroll in that particular program and what makes you different or better than the rest. Do your homework if you’re not sure about it, research and ask around, talk to people who have experience and get in touch with you school career counselor. If anyone from your family or acquaintances is an alumni, getting information from them can be very useful.
2.Take An Early Start
As clichéd as it may sound, there is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs. To get what you want, you need comprehensive planning and this is not something you can decide and get done with, in your senior year. You need to start planning as early as your freshman year so that you’re able to properly schedule and complete all the requirements, take the standardized admission tests and make sure that you fully utilize the four years of high school to prepare a solid college application.
3.Focus On Your Courses and Grades
As much as we hate the sound of that, grades play a crucial role in your admission process. Good grades improve the chance of you getting into the college of your choice, as your high school transcript is perhaps one of the most important documents in your university application. Take up challenging courses throughout high school; colleges are impressed by students who continue to pursue their field of interest by taking classes that are academically rigorous.
4.Check The Admission Requirements in Advance
The earlier you go through the admission requirements, the easier it will be for you to determine your plan of action. Getting in touch with students who are already enrolled in the program, contacting the admissions offices and checking official university websites are some of the ways you can get relevant information. Visiting the particular college is one of the best ways of getting the information you need.
5.Ace the Standardized Admission Tests
Colleges require you to take standardized admission tests such as SAT and ACT so that they have a common criterion for evaluating students. Students scoring well on these tests have a greater chance of getting accepted. There is a lot of preparatory material available online as well as in the form of textbooks. Look up practice material for the SAT and ACT and start preparing. Universities can accept either of the two tests. Take them in time so that you have a chance to retake them if you don’t manage to score well.
6.Extra- and Co-curricular Activities
Pick an extra- or co-curricular activity that you are passionate about. Colleges are looking for students who pursue a particular activity and demonstrate growth as well as leadership qualities in that particular activity. Apart from that, colleges pay particular importance to community or participation in student organizations as it shows that the individual has dedicated himself to a cause.
7.Application Do’s and Don’ts
There are a number of factors that you need to be wary of when preparing your college application. Firstly, get organized. Make a list of things that you want to add to your application. Secondly, it is very important that you don’t add unnecessary material to your application which might not even get reviewed; instead it will only become a hassle for those processing your application. Thirdly, keep track of all application deadlines; missing deadlines reflects badly on you and chances.
8.Write a Killer Personal Essay
The personal essay is one of the most daunting parts of the application. Your essay gives you the opportunity to actually tell what sets you apart as an individual and why you are well-suited for the program. Your essay can be about anything: a personal experience that had a significant impact on you, something you’re passionate about, a hobby, or a cause that is close to your heart. It should be a very well thought out, well-written and coherent piece of writing that not only engages the reader but also provides them with an insight into your personality. Remember, this is the only way you can tell them who you are as a person.
9.Get Well-Rounded Recommendations
Recommendations also constitute an important part of the application. Be careful to choose those teachers who know you well and will be able to provide information that’ll make you stand out. Also, provide them with additional information about yourself that would enable them to write a recommendation that showcases a host of your abilities.
10.Be Well-Prepared for the Interview
Be sure to get your facts right before the interview. You must have all the information you can get about the program you intend to join. Also, have a clear explanation for why you intend to join the particular program. Try and contact students already studying at the college, and get information about frequently asked interview questions.
The most important thing to consider when applying is not to panic and stay calm. All the information, requirements and deadlines may seem like a nightmare, but if you take one step at a time and are prepared, you’ll be able to get good results.