College applications are one of the most important things that a high school student will ever do. Knowing how to apply properly and accurately can mean the difference between being accepted into the college they want and settling for a college they do not particularly want to attend. College applications are actually quite easy to handle if you are careful and pay attention to the details.
Here are five things you need to know about applying to college and the process:
College applications are ever changing
The application process is never the same from year to year it seems for a given college. That said, networking with other students that have recently applied is invaluable in learning what to expect. Reach out to recent applicants and take in anything that you can learn about the process.
Applying Early Is Encouraged
If you are considering college and know where you are intending to apply, it is always a good idea to get the application in early. Do not wait until the last minute and then scramble to get everything right. Applying early will allow for amendments, and for you to keep your studies up in the meantime. You do not want to spend important senior class time worrying over applications.
Visiting the College is Vital
Before you take the time to apply to a college, you should certainly take the time to visit. Many people will go on a “college road trip” to try to learn which schools they should apply to. If you have several colleges that you are considering that are in the same general area, this is a must. Be sure to look at every part of the college experience. This should include curriculum, facilities, housing, student life, surrounding areas, and class sizes and locations.
Your High School Guidance Counselor Really Is Your Best Friend
In all the world, you will not find a more vital cog in your college search. Use this invaluable resource to its fullest measure. High school guidance counselors are always well informed and can prepare you for those things that you would not even consider without them. For example, how much it will cost you to travel from housing to class each day. Some schools have little details like this that you would never consider if your high school guidance counselor did not tell you. Pick their brain and learn every single thing that you can about the colleges you are interested in. You will be glad that you did.
Do Not Give up on the First Try
Many people give up on a college after being turned down. This is truly a mistake if you are serious about attending any college. Take the time to contact the dean of admissions and ask what would have to happen for you to be accepted in the future. Often, it is a matter of shoring up that GPA, or becoming more involved in some manner. Always follow up and find out if you are wanting to attend a particular college. Even if you have to start at a different college and work your way up to the college of choice, it is still a possibility. As a matter of fact, it is sometimes easier to transfer than to get in out of high school. Do not give up on your college dreams so easily!
Make certain that before you apply to college that you are prepared for what is to come. Applying haphazardly to colleges can often burn bridges. If you do not apply properly, you can not “un-apply” once you are rejected. Take the time to apply properly, and give it your best shot. College is about becoming responsible and informed, and learning your future job. This requires that you pay attention to details, and it starts with your college application.