The college application process is often overwhelming, no matter how good your grades are or how high you score on your admission tests. Considering how important this is to your future, though, you have to get this right. The following information will help you to ace the process, hopefully landing a spot in the college of your dreams.
1. Be Realistic, But Optimistic
While attending Harvard or MIT may be at the top of every wish-list for college applicants, you should be as realistic as possible when applying, while still holding fast to your optimism. Check the requirements for admission, and if you come close enough, go for it; however, considering the vast number of students trying to get in, keep your other options open.
Also, weigh the time and financial aspects of applying to so many schools versus how likely you are to get in. Even your third or fourth choice is going to have a lot to offer you, and since you're going to make the best of any opportunity you're afforded, it's a win-win situation.
2. Work Closely With The School Counselor
Take full advantage of the services provided to you by your school counselor, no matter how busy you are with classes and extra-curricular activities. That counselor can do a lot for you, so be prepared for meetings with them and set goals to accomplish together, such as the following:
- Find the best colleges for you, based on your student profile, aspirations, and other important factors.
- Gather your transcripts and letters of recommendation.
- Obtain information regarding admissions tests, so you can be fully qualified.
3. Have A Detailed Admissions Checklist
After you've really narrowed down your options, you need to focus intensely on them. Giving them so much of your time and energy should help you engage in a flawless application process. Create a checklist, featuring all the requirements your preferred colleges impose, and stay up-to-date with where you stand in meeting these requirements.
From application essays to scholarships and financial aid, you're going to have a lot to do for each individual school; thus, keeping a running checklist of what you have left to do will keep you on schedule and compliant.
4. Talk To Your Teachers
Although the college entrance process appears to be a generic, impersonal process, your personal profile really matters. If, for example, your English teacher is willing to write a short note about how creative and articulate you are in writing and your Computer Programming instructor pens a letter about your proficiency with code, you're going to look that much more appealing to the colleges you apply to.
Letters of recommendation should be articulate, be honest, and include information about your skills, personality, and especially your accomplishments outside the standard curriculum of the subjects studied. While you can't tell your teachers what to write per say, you can "remind" them of certain things you did while under their guidance. Pick a few teachers scattered throughout your high school career, so the college admissions office can see how remarkable you were in the 9th grade, along with the 12th.
Be sure to give your teachers plenty of time to meet any deadlines associated with your application, and always send them a "thank you" card in return once your paperwork has been completed. Also, if you're so inclined, waive your right to read the letters of recommendation written for you; that may boost their credibility with admissions officers, considering that you didn't view them or make any suggestions.
5. Consult An Essay Editing Service
One very practical way to make sure you're going to impress the colleges of your choice on paper is to work with an essay editing service. Since your admissions essay can mean the difference between getting accepted where you really want to go and having to settle for something else, you need to make sure it's on-point, immaculately written, and unquestionably going to have a poignant effect on the person reading it.
A college essay editor can review your work before you submit it to the admissions office, checking it for errors that could otherwise result in denial. The service will also provide you with an invaluable second opinion on your essay that's completely professional and experienced, which may be very different from the "Great job!" you might get from your parents or friends.
Most especially if English is not your first language, the expertise your voice will gain from using an editing service can quite literally change your life, turning your essay into something that represents you with the highest standards, the clearest intent, and an eloquence that will set you apart from others.
6. Go The Extra Mile
Sometimes, you are just a collection of paperwork to a busy admissions office, and to make yourself stand out, you have to go the extra mile. For example, if the college of your choice turns you down, can you arrange to meet with an admissions officer in person? Often, they will accommodate such a request, and you can use the occasion to really impress them with your direct, refuse-to-give-up attitude. Meeting you face-to-face could easily cause them to change their mind and colleges have different means of providing you with acceptance, outside of the traditional application process. You could get in on some other accolade, outside of grades or test scores.
Your winning attitude and resilience are nearly as important as your academic history as you apply to colleges, so let your amazing personality shine through the paperwork and don't give up. This will all be worth it very soon. For more information, contact local professionals like Crimson and Ivy.