You have the power to get into the school of your dreams, but it’s going to require you put in the work and research necessary to create a strong application. Early preparation is essential to getting into the right college. Your chances of getting in can be greatly improved if you plan and present a unique application. Use these tips as you reflect on the colleges you really want a chance in.
Avoid the Common Application
A new trend is using a common application that allows you to easily apply to multiple schools. If schools only focused on grades and generic essays, it would simply turn into a numbers game on who they accepted. Make your application stand out, and tailor it to each school you apply to. Research who they are looking for and what applicants they like to see.
Academic Accomplishments Aren’t Enough
Many of the top schools receive applications from students where close to 50 percent of applicants have a 4.0 GPA. These same students also tend to score at least 2100 on the SAT. Institutions are placing a high priority on diversity, athletic accomplishments, and legacy applicants. Find some way to participate in a high-level organization that requires merit to participate in. Volunteering time at a suicide hotline is a worthy cause, but it’s not as good as having leadership experience at the establishment itself. Think of ways to prove your dedication and boost your accomplishments.
Curriculum Matters More than GPA
If you breezed through school with a 4.0, and didn’t challenge yourself with difficult coursework, it may be enough to get you into your local college or community college. But if you want to be seriously considered, you have to take challenging coursework. It’s even better if you can show how your coursework will contribute to your future career. If you want to get an online degree in higher education, take a broad range of courses and volunteer at a local school or tutoring center during your time off.
Focus Your College Search
It’s easy to think you can apply to a dozen colleges and improve your odds of acceptance. However, every college you apply to takes time. You need to limit your choices so you can tailor your applications to the colleges you really want to get into. The old method of applying to about four colleges is still the best option. Be realistic about your chances, and choose the colleges you have a good chance of getting into.
Application committees want a personal application that shows a genuine interest. You can’t slap together an application in a few weeks and hope it gets you into the college of your dreams. Spend the time needed to present a well thought-out, and personalized college application.