Talk – talk with your family, your high school counselor, friends, coaches, and anyone else who has served as a positive role model for you about your hopes, dreams, aspirations, fears, and desires for your future. Learn – engage your education, learn how to study and take the most challenging courses that are available and appropriate for you. A strong academic performance in high school demonstrates to a college you are ready for the academic challenges you will face there.
Participate – get involved in a few extracurricular activities you really enjoy and commit to them. Strive to become a leader in that activity. Start writing for the school newspaper in ninth grade and work your way up to editor senior year. Life on a college campus is more than classes and a college wants students who will enrich the experience for others.
Plan – what do you need to do between today and when your college applications are due to make yourself a viable applicant to the college or university of your choice? Are you taking the necessary courses? What standardized tests are required?
Learn as much as you can about schools that interest you to discover if they are right for you. You should learn a lot more than just whether or not they offer your possible major. Empower yourself by having the necessary information to make knowledgeable decisions. Fortunately, learning about colleges has never been easier. The information you should be looking for is usually just a click away.
Some questions to help you get started:
Actually applying for admission to a college is not as intimidating a task as you may think. Yes, you will need to complete forms online; gather information about yourself, your family, your activities; and, most likely, you will need to write a personal statement. It is all very doable. Your counselor is there to help—ask.
Some things for you to remember:
Do not miss deadlines—submitting an application for admission or financial aid after the deadline may automatically make you ineligible for consideration.
Fill out the FAFSA and/or additional financial aid forms because financial aid procedures can differ from school to school. No application for admission can be due prior to October 15. This is a bonus for you!
You need to be the sole author of your application—complete it yourself. You may ask for advice, but the words need to be yours.
No college should ask you where they rank on your list. You are not obligated to tell a college where else you are applying.
You should never feel pressured into applying to a college—admission officers are there to tell you about opportunities and give you accurate information.
Once the admission offices have notified you of their decisions, you need to make your decision as to which school you will attend. It is a big decision, and an important one. Take your time, carefully evaluate all of the information and make the choice that is best for you.
Source: NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling) August 2016