Here’s what to do to boost your chances of admission:
1. Narrow down your college list by seeing if they satisfy what you're looking for from an
institution. Is this a location I feel comfortable residing in for the next four years? Do I want a large or small college environment? What is it that I am interested in studying? It is important to also consider the college’s acceptance rates, and what the GPA and test score average is of those who are admitted. The schools in your list should be categorized as either a reach, match, or a guarantee depending on your test scores, GPA, etc. and their admissions averages.
2. Now that you have taken a look at different colleges and their admissions averages, primarily on test scores, you can determine whether you need to retake the SAT/ACT. If the college is test optional, it is still recommended to send in your test scores as this will help boost your chances of admission. To prepare and improve on your SAT/ACT score you must dedicate an appropriate amount of time to practice for the exam. You could work with a tutor, use free online resources, or take a prep course.
3. Take the time to schedule a visit to the colleges you are interested in and their campuses.
College tours are offered prior to each semester's admissions, whether it be virtual or in person. If you are interested in attending an in person event, make sure to register online as most require you to book your spot in advance. The informational sessions and campus tours will help you refine your list even further.
4. Although the Common App doesn’t open up until August 1st for current juniors, you are
allowed to create an account in advance. The information you can get ahead and fill out is the Profile, Family, Education, and Activities sections. The courses section should be avoided as those only apply to your senior year.
5. Get ahead of the game and start writing your college essay. This gives you more time to
plan and revise your essay until it reaches your satisfaction. It is important to make your essay an extension of your application, but don’t let it be the primary focus. What is something else that you would like the admissions counselors to know that they can’t see in your application? Ask others for feedback on your essay to get multiple perspectives and ideas.
6. Look for scholarships with time. The requirements for scholarship highly vary where there is a scholarship for anyone in search of one. They can focus on ethnicity, interests, musical talents, writing skills, etc. Websites that can help high school students in their scholarship search are www.fastweb.com, www.scholarships.com, and www.raise.me.
7. Look for volunteer opportunities available to you during the summer time. By doing volunteer work it shows that you have initiative and drive. Not only will this look good on your application, but if you are unsure of your career path, this may help you decide what you are interested in and can see yourself pursuing.
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