College Admissions: A Comprehensive Guide

student holding a backpack getting ready for college admissions

College admissions can be a daunting process, I know what it is like to be faced with it. I’m here to tell you that doesn’t have to be so intimidating. Understanding the admissions process and taking the necessary steps to prepare will alleviate some of the stress and increase your chances of getting into your dream school.

What To Consider When Choosing Colleges

When choosing colleges, there are many factors to consider. How much will it cost? How much can you afford to pay for college? Be sure to factor in tuition, room and board, and other expenses. What programs do the colleges you’re considering offer? Where do you want to live? Do you prefer a big city or a small town? Do you want to attend a large university with thousands of students or a small college with a more intimate setting? What kind of extracurricular activities are important to you? What is the social scene like on campus?

As you can see there is a lot to consider. The college admissions process can be challenging, but it is also an exciting time in your life. By following the tips below college admissions process will be a breeze.

The College Admissions Process

The college admissions process typically begins in the junior year of high school. If it’s your senior year or you’ve even graduated already don’t worry, it’s not too late. Here is a step-by-step overview of how it works:

Research colleges:

Make a list of colleges that you’re interested in and learn more about their admissions requirements. There are many online resources that can help you narrow down your list of potential colleges. Some popular options include the College Navigator, Cappex, and Niche.

Take standardized tests:

Most colleges require applicants to submit scores from the SAT or ACT. You should also take any subject tests that are required or recommended by your target schools. For many students taking the SAT or ACT isn’t necessary to get into college. Yes, you’ve read that right. In many cases, you don’t need to take these tests to apply, be admitted, and attend college. Don’t put yourself through the stress if you don’t have to. BE SURE YOU NEED TO TAKE THE TEST. Do I need to Take The SAT Test?

Get good grades:

Your GPA is one of the most important factors that colleges consider when making admissions decisions. A student’s GPA determines a lot, academic standing, graduation, acceptance into a major, and financial aid and scholarship eligibility. When a student has a low GPA, it can create a lot of stress and anxiety. Make sure to focus on your studies and get the best grades possible. Looking for practical ways to increase your GPA?

Get involved in extracurricular activities:

Applying to college can be super competitive. And while grades are a huge indicator of the type of student you are there are other things that will make a student stand out as an applicant and impress college admissions. A college will weigh participation in extracurricular activities because they demonstrate that a student has developed skills and knowledge in specific areas. It also shows that they have participated in activities that enhance personal development.

Write strong college essays:

The goal of a college admission essay is to not only get to know you but to draw your reader in and to be memorable. Reread that sentence. You must make a connection with the admissions officer who is reading your essay. If you don’t, they will pass on you. Here are my top 5 tips on how to write an impressive admission essay that will grab the attention of your reader.

Get letters of recommendation:

A good letter of recommendation can be a powerful tool! Ask teachers, counselors, and other mentors to write letters of recommendation for you. Letters of recommendation can give colleges a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. Here’s how to get a great letter of recommendation.

Submit your applications:

Be sure to submit your college applications on time and complete all of the required materials.

Financial Aid

College can be expensive, but there are many financial aid options available to help you pay for school. Be sure to research all of your financial aid options and apply for all of the scholarships and grants that you qualify for.

When you are looking for ways to pay for college, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should be at the top of your list. FAFSA provides more than $120 billion in grants, loans, and work-study funds to over 13 million students each year. Those numbers are staggering and the reason why they are the biggest provider of student aid in the country. All U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizens can fill out the FAFSA. And aid is not limited to graduating high schoolers and undergraduates. All students who are pursuing a degree may qualify for aid.

college student sitting at a table filling out FASFA for college admissions

Apply To Scholarships To Pay For College Without Getting Loans

Searching for scholarships was something I did constantly for years. You will get tired of it, trust me. You will write essay after essay trying to convince some mysterious panel of people that you are worthy of a scholarship. I probably applied to over 100 of them. Once you write a few good essays you can simply modify them slightly to fit the scholarship requirements. I would search for scholarships while I was at the Community College and bookmark any scholarships that I could apply to once I was at the university, once a scholarship is awarded one year, it will likely come back the next year at the same time, be sure to check back.

There are different types of scholarships, some get pretty wild. However, there are basically 3 types of scholarships, need-based, merit-based, and minority-based. Know what you can apply to as it will refine your search and save you time. I encourage you to apply for every scholarship that you can.

Here Are Some Final Tips For College Admissions

Be sure to talk to your school counselor as they are one of your best resources. Your school counselor can help you with the college admissions process and provide you with guidance and support. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you have any questions about the college admissions process, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your parents, teachers, counselors, or fellow students.

The college admissions process can be daunting, but it is also an opportunity to start your future. By taking the necessary steps to prepare and being proactive, you can increase your chances of getting accepted to your dream school.