Applying for College

Many DECA members will soon be starting their last first day of high school and finally enjoying the perks of being a senior. However, being a high school senior can also mean some anxiety and stress the next step ahead: college.

I can admit that the search for the perfect postsecondary location can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here are some of my tips of how to make the most of the process!

  • Take advantage of remaining few weeks of your summer vacation and cross some less stressful items off your list.
    For example, go visit the campuses you are thinking of applying to, make sure your SAT/ACT scores are up to par, and start filling out the common application.
  • Begin brainstorming topics for application essays as soon as possible.
    Some of you may end up applying to multiple schools and having a collection of solid prompts to use will make the process of writing much easier. If not, you may end up sacrificing much of your winter break, cramming to finish on time. Plus, getting your essays out of the way now will allow you to focus on your senior courses, another crucial part of the application process.
  • Take your final standardized tests (SAT I & II/ ACT). 
    The ACT has sittings in September, October, and December, which can all be used in the admissions process. The SAT has sitting in October, November, December, and January, which can be used in the admissions process as well. It definitely doesn’t hurt to take both either (coming from experience, my ACT score was comparatively MUCH higher than my SAT score). As for tips for studying – effort is the only true way to see improved results in your scores. For the SAT, I recommend any of the Princeton Review study guides. For the ACT, I recommend The Real ACT Prep Guide’s practice test book.
  • Don’t be afraid to express yourself.
    College admissions officers know what they are doing when putting together the incoming freshman class. If you simply aren’t a good fit, they don’t want to subject you to an unfavorable experience. Give a truthful depiction of your interests, attitudes and goals; the school you’re meant to attend will see the potential in you right away.

Balancing the college application process and senior year can be tough, but always keep the end goal in mind. When you finally receive that acceptance letter, all the hurdles sudden seem worth it.

Follow Jack on Twitter @decajack

Categories: Choosing A College, College, College Career Advice