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Starting college can be an exciting, yet stressful period of time for many. But before that comes applying for colleges. Although there is no exact formula that will give you a 100% guarantee to a certain college, there are many tips that you can follow to maximize your efforts and get into as many college as you want AND the ones you want!
Know your options.
Research about the different colleges. Every college website will have reported data about the students that they accept on average. See where you fit in! Pick a few safety schools (ones that you are most likely to get into), target schools (ones that you have a fair enough chance to get into), and reach schools (ones that seem unlikely but you never know!)
This is the easiest part because you’ve already done all the work. You will be asked to report your grades and scores from high school. It is important that you report correct information because colleges will cross-check with your high school to make sure that the information that you provide is accurate.
Writing the essay.
Although your grades and scores are important, college are also interested in knowing who you are outside of an academic setting. Most college applications will include an essay component where you can talk about something that has changed your life, explain why you are passionate about studying something specific, etc. It is always good to ask your school counselor, current college students, or peers to edit your essays and provide insight. It is important to take time to carefully think about how you will structure your essay because an essay can either make or break your entire application!
Consider various factors.
Although the main goal of college is to get an education, college should be a time where you get to explore yourself, be independent, and grow as an individual. Everyone looks for different things out of their college experience, but some common factors to consider can be: location, academic programs, clubs/organizations offered, weather/atmosphere of the town, class sizes, housing options, cost, opportunities, etc.
Do not be afraid to ask for help.
The college application process can be stressful and intimidating. But there are many resources out there to help you, such as the internet, college students who have already gone through this process, and high school counselors. All you have to do is reach out for help!