How to get into college – a helpful guide
Hoping to go to college after finishing high school? We hope you’ll find this short guide helpful.
Attending college is one of the best ways to land your dream job and find financial success in life. However, colleges are competitive, with schools like MIT and the University of Chicago only admitting 7% of applicants. Even state schools are very selective, with thousands of students vying for the top schools.
If you want to get into college, don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to set yourself up for success and get admitted into a college that’s right for you.
To learn more, keep reading to find our guide to the college admissions process, which will help you apply and prepare for colleges.
Take your academic performance seriously
If you’re wondering how to get into a good college, it starts with your GPA. While your academic performance isn’t the only considering factor in your applications, it is an important one.
As soon as you start high school, you should have your eyes on the prize when it comes to your GPA. You don’t need a 4.0, but try to do the best you can and always ask teachers for advice if you’re struggling.
If you did have a tough semester or two, all hope is not lost. College admissions boards understand that life doesn’t always go according to plan, you can leave a note in your application, explaining why personal or life circumstances impacted your grades.
Sign up for advanced courses
If it’s offered by your school, try to complete at least a few Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate classes. These look fantastic on college applications, as it proves you’re capable of excelling in college-level classes—plus, it shows you take learning seriously.
However, don’t overwhelm yourself with too many challenging courses, or you may find yourself struggling to keep up. It helps to think about your future major in college and take classes that are related, as it can give you a head-start on preparing for your degree.
Make yourself stand out with extracurriculars
You’ll want to appear well-rounded, with interests outside of school. For this reason, many students focus on extracurricular activities, such as clubs and sports.
If you can, why not go for a leadership position within your club? This shows that you are capable and that you possess leadership skills.
Even better, if you find success with your sport or club of choice, it could lead to a scholarship or grant.
Ask for recommendations
Most colleges will ask for letters of recommendation from a teacher or coach. When deciding who to ask, think about which teachers you have the best relationship with and then talk to them – they are sure to be glad to help, as they want to see you succeed!
Your letter of recommendation could be from your drama teacher, sports coach, or one of your favorite teachers, so give it some thought.
Prepare for your SAT or ACT
Love it or hate it, success with standardized tests like the SAT and ACT are important in increasing your chances of getting into college.
While some students struggle with testing, invest in some prep classes or workbooks to give yourself the best possible chances. Try to look for practice tests as well, so you can get a feel for the testing experience before the real thing.
Make a shortlist of schools
When it comes to getting into schools, first give some thought to where you want to go to school, how far from home you want to be, your desired major, and your budget.
Then, create a shortlist of schools you’re interested in applying to, being realistic about your chances of acceptance. If you’re unsure about your chances of acceptance to a school you like, speak to your guidance counselor for advice.
Visit colleges in person
The next step is to arrange a tour and visit the colleges you’re interested in attending. This way, you can learn more about the school, tour the campus, and chat with other students about their experiences.
This can help you work out which colleges are best for you, along with figuring out which colleges you may have the most success with applying to.
Ace your application essays and interview
Next comes the challenging part—the college application and interview. Writing college essays can be tough, but remember to stay calm, always be genuine, and write a few drafts until you have one you’re happy with.
Then, consider asking a loved one or teacher to look over it, in case you’ve missed any grammatical or editing errors. If you are not sure about your writing skills, it is better to use special paper writing services as writemyessays or do it yourself, using text correction apps (Hemingway Editor, Grammarly etc).
Many colleges also require interviews for admission. Preparing for a college interview isn’t as tough as you think – stay calm, get enough sleep the night before, and practice with a friend or family member.
Ask someone to help you with mock-up questions and you can answer as if you were in the interview, which is great practice. Remember, those on the college admissions board know that students are going to be nervous, so just take deep breaths and do your best.
Get into college with these tips
If you want to get into college, hopefully the guide above has helped you understand what to expect throughout the process. You can follow the steps above to work your way through the application process, from start to finish.
With motivation, a passion for academics, and a solid application, you’re sure to have success with college applications. Although it seems like a lot of work, it will all be worth it once you open the mail one day to find a letter of acceptance from your dream school!
Get started today and you’ll be on track to academic success and setting yourself up for the future.