So you are interested in applying to college, but you don’t know where to begin? Be proud of your decision, but also be kind to yourself. Applying to college is an intimidating and stressful process, but you got this! You may be wondering, “where do I should begin!?” It is important to remember that no one expects you to do what you are doing, especially if this is your first time or you are embarking on this journey alone. Some students may opt to receive guidance from a private counselor, but hiring one can be pricey. In some cases, students turn to their parents for guidance, but not everyone is fortunate enough to go to college, so it may be a new process for them as well. Fortunately, there are plenty of other ways to complete the process confidently, and in the best way possible! This guide will walk you through some of those ways, and provide some tips to keep in mind throughout the process.
Tip #1: Use Your Resources:
Some schools have guidance counselors and/or college counselors, who specialize in the college application process. In most cases, there are no fees for their assistance and should be available to help you. If your school offers guidance or college counselors, schedule time to meet with them. They are an excellent resource and may even be able to guide you through the financial aid process.
If your school doesn’t offer guidance or college counselors, check out this website. It offers free college admission resources!
Tip #2: Demonstrate Interest
Some schools take demonstrated interest into account during the application process. Subscribe to their email list, attend virtual information sessions, and sign up for tours if you are able to attend.
Tip #3: Know your Deadlines:
It is crucial that you keep track of your deadlines. Some schools have November deadlines, some in December, some in January, and some are even in October. You can find a school’s deadline on their website, or on the common app. Make sure to send in your application on time!
Tip #4: Don’t Wait:
On top of knowing your deadlines, don’t wait to submit your application until the last minute! You don’t want to risk the website crashing, and missing the deadline. Aim to submit your application a few weeks before the deadline. There is no harm in submitting early.
Tip #5: Proofread, Proofread, and Proofread:
Before submitting any application, read it over carefully. There is a preview button before you submit, make sure you actually preview your application! Catch any small mistakes and make sure everything is accurate.
Tip #6: Monitor your Email:
After you apply, you will receive an email notifying you that your application has been submitted. In a couple of days, you will receive the login information to access your portal. You MUST check your portal. The portal could inform you that there is information missing from your application, which is important you take note of. Sometimes, schools will include their supplemental questions in the portal instead of the application. Other times, schools will want you to provide an SRAR, which is a report of your grades that you will provide manually. If you miss this, you could be penalized throughout the process. Checking the portal is extremely important.
Tip #7: Stop overthinking; stop doubting; stop what-iffing:
It will all work out! You know that you submitted the best application possible. Once you have submitted, you will know you did your best with every part of the application process that is within your control. Instead of doubting yourself, congratulate yourself. You got this!