Whether you are a student or a parent helping your teen prepare for college, this can be an exciting time as you look toward the future. Going to college will not only offer the opportunity for students to expand their knowledge, but it can also help them develop a deeper understanding of the world and have important life experiences. It’s a chance for them to start living independently, forge life-long friendships, develop their opinions, and explore what they would like to get out of life.
While this next chapter might be both exhilarating and intimidating, the first step to getting into college is to make sure you pay attention to the application process so that yours stands out to admission officers. If you are in the process of completing college applications, here are some tips to help you get through it.
Do Your Research
A good first step when you are starting to think about your college applications is to do your research into the colleges you are interested in. If there is a particular degree program you want to pursue, think about how well renowned these colleges are for that subject – how well connected are they with professional industries? Can they offer work experience opportunities? As well as thinking about what these colleges can offer you, you need to consider what you can provide as a student. With so much competition, colleges want to make sure they are giving places to candidates who will take their studies seriously and can keep up with these academic demands. They will also be interested in what your future goals are and why you think that a particular college can help you achieve them.
Other things to take into consideration when you are selecting colleges include the annual fees for teaching and accommodation – and what their financial aid options are if you can apply for this. The location is also important, particularly if you want a specific type of college experience. For example, do you want to be in the heart of a bustling city? Or are you more interested in a quieter campus? Would you like to attend a college that is located close to home?
Consider Your GPA
As well as making sure that the colleges you choose will be a good fit for you, you will also need to take into account your current GPA. All colleges will have specific requirements for applications to reach if they want to be considered, and your grades will play a big role in this. You can use a college GPA calculator to check what the colleges you are interested in are asking for. If you are concerned that your GPA is not where it needs to be, think about hiring a tutor or speaking to your teachers for advice on how you can make improvements. If you are a mature student who doesn’t have the right GPA, returning to night classes or studying online to get the right grades could be an option for you.
As well as a good GPA, you might want to think about what extra-curricular activities you can get involved with, too. These will also look impressive on a college application and can allow you the opportunity to express your other interests outside of academia.
Give Yourself Plenty Of Time
When you are completing your college applications, including writing personal essays, it’s important to give yourself plenty of time to get through them. Admissions officers will be unimpressed with rushed applications as it can make it look as though you aren’t that interested in that college, or indicate that you’re an individual who is disorganized and has bad time management, neither of which makes for an ideal student. Taking your time over your applications will also allow you the opportunity to proofread them for mistakes and to make edits should you need to.
Although going to college can be a wonderful experience for many, going through the application process can feel stressful at times and a little bit daunting. Use the tips above to make sure you are applying for the right degrees at colleges that will be a good fit for you, and to help you make your application stand out.