With the increase in students attending college right after high school, admission to the most sought-after schools is growing more competitive. To stand out from the pack and get accepted to the college of your dreams you need to submit an application that makes you the best possible candidate for that school.
Do Your Research
Is your dream school really the best for you? A little research will not only help you decide if the school you love is the best for you education, but it will also help you know what admission officers are looking for. You can browse the university website, read student testimonials, and even give the college campus a tour if you have the time. If all of this seems a little overwhelming, you can always enroll in college admissions counseling. From collegewise, “Counselors work one-on-one with students to: Create a custom timeline and strategy to improve chances of admission, Develop a testing plan for SAT or ACT, AP/IB exams, SAT subject tests, and TOEFL if necessary, Discuss and develop extracurricular and summer activities, Conduct thoughtful college search, including identifying and researching potential college matches and creating a balanced college list, Brainstorm and edit college essays, Review college applications, Manage deadlines and submission of applications.”
Focus On School
It’s common knowledge that you need good grades and test scores to get accepted to universities. Most schools even post their required GPA’s and SAT/ACT scores for applicants to see before applying. While universities do take your accomplishments outside of class into consideration, you have to meet their required academic level before they consider you. Take time to study for class and invest in an ACT or SAT Prep Program.
Beef Up Your Application
Once your grades are where you need them to be, it is time to focus on rounding out your application. Colleges are looking for students who will contribute the most to their campuses. Anything you have ever done (within the past few years) should be considered. Were you in any extracurricular activities? Did you have a summer / weekend job? Get elected as an officer in an organization? Received any awards? Dig deep to find experiences you have had that can make you stand out from others and make sure your references reflect on all of your outstanding accomplishments. Colleges use your extracurriculars to get a better feel for you as a person and to see what skills and traits you have, so pick some activities that show you in the best light.
This cannot be said enough – show enthusiasm! When admission officers read your application essays, they can tell if you are serious about that school or not. Show them you are. Include why it’s your dream college and let your personality shine through. Speak to your strengths, and let them know you are serious. The application essay may be the only chance for you to show them who you are, so make sure it is perfect.
By following these steps, you can be confident that you will submit your best possible application to your dream college. While you are waiting to hear a response, remember that just because you don’t get accepted doesn’t mean you are a terrible candidate. Some schools look for very specific factors among their new students. Keep working on your application, and you will get accepted to the school that is right for you.