Senior Advice to Juniors about College Applications

College Application 101

1. Start to do research

Make a list of what kinds of things are important to you in a college such as size, location, research opportunities, and campus life. Use the internet, Fiske guide, college websites, and other sources to see what colleges are your dream schools.

2. Prepare for the standardized tests

After your research, you will have a basic understanding about the test requirement of each college. Most  students will apply to schools that require SAT or ACT scores, and some of schools also need SAT II scores, so you can be prepared when you apply to those colleges.

3. Think about what kind person you are

During the summer after junior year, students usually start to prepare their personal statements and common app essays. You should start brainstorming and thinking about what experiences are important and meaningful to you. Then, you should write a basic outline and think about what qualities you want the college to see in you.

4. Narrow down your college list

After you did your general research (in step 1), you probably will have a lot of schools at which you think you will probably be happy. Usually 10 applications are enough, however, and 15 applications are plenty. In order to narrow the list down, you have to do deeper research, such as campus visits and asking students who are currently at that school or alumni.

5. Stay in a good mood

When the application process begins, most people will be stressed, but please stay calm. With an appropriate college list, you will definitely be fine. An appropriate college list should contain high-risk, moderate-risk, and low-risk colleges. Also, you should acknowledge that colleges do reject people, but don’t be too upset because there are thousands of colleges out there.