September 6, 2017
From experiencing the excitement of a new country on exchange, joining the greek life on campus, or cheering on your team at your first college basketball game, college is considered the best four years of your life. It’s a time where high schoolers begin adulthood. However, it can also be one of the most challenging times for them. Going from a small high school to a big university can sound scary. From choosing which school is the best fit for you, to submitting your first few applications, the process of making it into your dream school can be stressful as well as confusing. What some high schoolers don’t realize is that with a step by step plan, getting accepted into college isn’t nearly as daunting as what it may seem.
The first step of this tedious process is narrowing down where you may want to attend. The best school varies for person to person, so make a list of possible schools you want to attend and narrow it down to no more than three. After you’ve selected your top three, do some research and look up your potential colleges. Find out the GPA and SAT score requirements and after, it would be beneficial to take a tour of the campus to better determine if the school is a good fit. College is a big decision, as it will be your home for the next four years. When making this choice, it is important to consider what matters most to you. Do you want a school that is close to home, or are you willing to travel out of state or even country to study? Are you okay with having a lot of student debt, or will you apply for financial aid and scholarships?
Once you have narrowed your schools down, the next step is to tackle all the paperwork involved with applying to universities. At a glance, it can be overwhelming, but breaking down the workload will make things a lot easier and less stressful.
Almost every school requires you to submit either SAT or ACT scores. If you haven’t taken the SAT by your junior year, you must schedule a time to do so. This is one of the most important parts of the application process. The amount of information you need to submit varies from school to school, as some universities require an essay or letter recommendation. No matter the school, find out what each university requires of you beforehand.
Of course the process can be stressful and sometimes overwhelming with deadlines to meet and the differing requirements for each school, but knowing the basics and understanding what to expect when applying can make the whole process much easier. Your guidance counselor is a great resource if you have questions or want direction through this process.