Pay attention high school seniors, this one's for you! Struggling with that college application now that you're in class and preparing to start the journey of picking a college? Look no further. Princeton Review has a great list of tips and tricks, along with advice and what to look for when making your application. Not really into clicking links? That's OK, I got you covered.
The Common App is your best friend.
It's a great way to apply to colleges, plus, for most of the colleges on the application, you don't have to pay a fee for. Sometimes you do, but not always, just remember that. There will be tons of information to fill out, but it's all pretty basic stuff. Think family info, school info, GPA, test scores and extracurriculars.
Also, you're going to need to submit your transcript.
For this, all you have to do is submit a request for the official transcript from your high school for each college that you are applying to. Some schools will need the official seal on it and some will need a signature. Either way, it needs to get sent. This is a way for them to see your academics and what you wanted to focus on. Pro tip: you still need to try during your fall semester of senior year. Why? Because that will show up on your transcript. Spring semester won't really be the same case, but you should still try either way.
Next up: letters of recommendation.
Yes, this is true. You will need to get these. Pick people that can show you in the best light; better yet, teachers and advisors that have had classes that you've enjoyed taking. For example, even though I'm majoring in business, I chose to get a recommendation from my AP art teacher, because she told me to actually do the AP, and was the first art teacher that I had that actually expressed an interest in my artwork! So, even though I won't partake in any art classes in college, she was able to show the colleges I applied to that I had a creative side that isn't exercised in a lot of other classes.
Last, but not least, your personal statement.
A lot of English classes will focus on how to write one of these statements so that you can best represent yourself to the admissions counselors that will be reading about you. You want to tell the admissions staff what makes you unique to all the other students applying as well. There will be a multitude of essay prompts. Pick one. UChicago is a good place to look for unique statement prompts to get you started. For example, "What is Square One, and can you go back to it?"
Of course, there's a lot more to a college application than what the Princeton Review has said. But consider all of the steps that go into it, and start early. You really only get one chance to impress a college. The time is now.
Lead Image Credit: Lee Campbell via Unsplash