College Admissions: Student and Family Guide
The application process for colleges is typically described as stressful by both parents and students. There is no reason for this circumstance. For completing the kinds of college applications that will get you accepted to the universities of your choice, follow the simple yet important recommendations provided below. All recommendations are based on more than 10 years of experience assisting students with college application preparation and submission. Each section should be read by the student in the prescribed order. Parents may wish to consider hiring a specialist who works with college applications to assist their kids with all of the procedures described in this article in order to improve their chances of acceptance and reduce stress.
Working with your guidance counselor the entire time you are a high school student will ensure that you enroll in classes that are both aligned with your interests and your graduation requirements.
Enroll in AP courses in areas where you excel because, if you complete them and pass the associated exam, you will receive college credit.
Exams should be taken in your junior year. The SAT and the ACT are the exams that are most usually accepted.
It’s important to keep in mind that standardized tests frequently receive the same weight from colleges and universities as your grade point average or your overall achievement in the classroom during high school. You must therefore prepare for these tests and give them your best effort. You have access to resources that can help you succeed, such as in-person instruction, classes offered by for-profit institutions, individual tutoring, and textual and digital study aids. You should also consider taking the SAT Subject Tests for the classes in which you do well. It’s time to decide what kind of school or university you wish to attend after the testing is finished.
No later than the summer before your senior year, colleges in Dallas and university research should begin. Take into account the factors that are important to you, such as the school’s location, size, reputation, diversity, athletics, and cost.
You should select 6–10 colleges to apply to. Choose colleges where the GPA and test score requirements closely reflect your aptitude, those that are more challenging, and those where you meet all standards.
If you have a specific major in mind, make sure that all of the universities to which you are applying offer it. Visit as many potential colleges and universities as you can.
Once your list of college applications is complete, you need to get organized. Use a plan that works for you; it should be organized nicely and simple to check daily. A simple computer-based database is a smart choice. You need a schedule for completing each requirement, as well as a list of all material submission deadlines for each college on your list. By adding important dates to your paper or electronic planner, you can keep track of your progress and reduce the chance that you’ll forget important deadlines. Since everyone has a different way of organizing things, it’s critical to make your college information understandable. Applications frequently include transcripts, test scores, personal statements, and recommendations.
Make plans to have your test scores and transcripts sent to each college or university you apply to, if necessary. In some areas, you can type your grades and test scores into the online applications for public colleges and universities that follow the honor code.
Ask your teachers, guidance counselors, or coworkers for references well in advance if any of the institutions you are applying to ask for them. Many organizations require the completion, signing, and delivery of their own printed forms. Give these forms as soon as the request is made. Ask for recommendations from people you are confident will represent you well.
Send each institution that requests one a personal statement that is exactly the same. Your statement should include enough information for the admissions committee to understand who you are and what you intend to accomplish in the future. Have it proofread by at least two people. Both English teachers and college advisors make excellent choices.
Applications should only be sent or submitted once you are certain they are error-free in terms of grammar, spelling, and punctuation. They must be finished in full and contain all necessary components. Some organizations will send requests for more information when necessary, while others will outright reject incomplete applications.
It’s time to think about your options for paying for college. The good news is that there are numerous federal, state, and private sources of financial aid. Grants that are not repaid and are awarded based on financial need may be available to you. Additionally, you may be eligible for work-study, which gives you the opportunity to work on campus in exchange for a predetermined sum of money each semester. Loans are financial obligations to repay sums of money in the future. Students may also qualify for scholarships that require applications, essays, or research. They are not required to be paid.
Fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as you can, regardless of your financial situation. The FAFSA application window opens on January 1 of each year. Awards are given according to first come, first served. The federal deadline is at the end of June, though the deadlines for each state must be verified. For instance, if a student intends to enroll in college in the fall of 2012, the FAFSA must be submitted by March 2, 2012, in California. Every state is allowed to change this day once a year.
Some colleges and universities may also ask for the CSS Profile form or other financial aid forms that are pertinent to a specific college.
Search for any scholarships for college for which you are eligible, learn more about them, and submit your applications.
Once you have received your acceptance letters, you are ready to choose the college or university you will attend. Utilize all the tools you have at your disposal. It’s critical to speak with your parents and/or other significant figures in your life in addition to your guidance counselor. As mentioned earlier, many families choose to work with a college application specialist from beginning to end. A student will probably be admitted to more universities and experience less stress with the right assistance. Whether you receive professional aid or not, I hope the aforementioned advice will assist you in getting accepted to the college or university that is the best fit for you. Good luck!