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What are some things you wish you learned about college/college admission process?

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Replies to: What are some things you wish you learned about college/college admission process?

  • Etuck24Etuck24 Registered User Posts: 1,386 Senior Member
    Don't get overly attached to a school, and apply to a financial safety as well as a normal safety.

    I fell in love with Penn State and luckily I was accepted and I'll be able to go, but if I wasn't I would have been completely devastated and unhappy at the other 3 places (NC State, MS State, and UNC-Charlotte) Make sure ALL the places you apply you'd be more than happy to go to and be proud of.
  • darkaerogadarkaeroga Registered User Posts: 447 Member
    Please stop saying crap-shoot, its disgusting.
  • goldenglovegoldenglove Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    After the entire admissions process, and now nearing the end of my freshman year, a few things are clear.

    Make a plan, and follow through. This applies to all aspects in life.
    Work Hard, and be thankful for the opportunities to do so
    Attitude is everything
    Freshman year will be the best year of your life (up to that point)
  • yolochkayolochka Registered User Posts: 195 Junior Member
    Some advice from a mother of a kid who had a good success rate with admission (out of 6 applications to highly selective places, 4 acceptances, one waitlist, and one rejection - Harvard).

    Be very organized. If your parents are willing to help you watch requirements and deadlines, let them.

    Don't think of any college as your dream school. Instead, think of what you like to do in college (areas of study, major, ECs) and search for schools that provide it at a good level. If you are very advanced in one area, look for colleges with a top ranked program in that area.

    Once you identified schools that will be good for you based on your interests, think how you can convince them that you would be good for them. Think why you would be a good fit and why they would want you. What is special about you? Find out what kinds of students they prefer. Make sure your application reflects all of the above. Essays are important, but you don't have to be a very good writer. My son isn't. Most important is that whatever you write, you tell about yourself. Through any topic you can convey what kind of person you are. Of course, your personality has to match their preferences. And that's why it's so important to find schools that are a good match for you.

    College visits are not necessary and costly, unless they are close by. You can find out most that you need online.

    Be sure you can afford to go to the school you spent $60-$90 on the application.

    Apply EA, ED, SCEA - and be ready to submit more applications by Jan 1st. If you got into a good school early, don't waste money and time to submit 10 more applications. Only do those for a reason: better program in your major, financial aid, location (unless you were admitted ED in which case you are done).

    Practice for PSAT. Ultimately, NMF not necessary to get admitted to top colleges, but you can get a scholarship.

    And of course, take the most challenging classes you can handle. Dual-enroll at a local university/community college if possible. Stick to 2-3 ECs, and try to show leadership. Do things you enjoy and I don't mean video games.

    That's all I can think of at this late hour.
  • Und3rC0verUnd3rC0ver Registered User Posts: 367 Member
    I concur with the idea of not making one school your dream school especially with very highly competitive schools. I was deferred then rejected from my number one school (Princeton) but was accepted regular decision to Harvard among others.

    You never know what you're going to get and making one school your primary focus doesn't always end happily.
  • AZseniorchickAZseniorchick Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    The one thing that can make or break you on an application, no matter where it is for, how much it is worth, etc... is that dang ESSAY.

    Work hard on your essays folks.
  • AtypicalAsianAtypicalAsian Registered User Posts: 388 Member
    To everyone preaching the essay...is it that important?

    The college s I'm looking at have 60k-96k applicants. Do they really read them all?

    I'm asking this because my stats are average (maybe even slightly below, compared to my classmates), but I think I'll be able to produce compelling, unique essays. Thanks!
  • onemoreparentonemoreparent Registered User Posts: 156 Junior Member
    IMHO,the thing about essays vs transcripts/SAT's etc is this:
    If you have a great academic record/scores, then your essays will be read and will make a big difference in the final decision.
    If you have great/exceptional essays, but they are not accompanied by an excellent academic record, then they may or may not help you get in.
  • spoonsterspoonster Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    My advice would be to:

    - Take the SAT or ACT once before summer (if you can still sign up) and then if you really want to try to raise your scores, take either once more at the beginning of your senior year.

    - Make a list of schools you are DEFINITELY applying to over the summer. For instance, I live in WA so I knew I would be applying to UW, WSU and UIdaho. Look at the application for the schools you're for sure applying to so you can get down to business when the app comes out.

    - I wanted a couple "for-funsies" schools in DC because I like politics. Oh, and I applied to U Penn too just for the off-chance I would get in (I didn't).

    - Don't expect anything to just fall into place. When I applied to AU and GWU, I didn't think I would have a chance of being able to afford either of them. See below.

    - Public doesn't always mean cheaper. The two schools I applied to in DC (AU and GWU) ended up being cheaper than the 3 public schools I applied to.

    - Do enough research on your "for-funsies" schools that if you got accepted (and it's affordable) you would want to go there. Don't do what my friend did and waste tons of money applying to top schools and not researching any of them.

    - When asking your teachers for letters of rec, if they have a deadline to get stuff to them, get stuff to them WAY before the deadline. Also, if they don't require anything, give your teachers several weeks notice to get your letter of rec done - they have plenty of other students asking them for letters, you don't need to stress them out any more than they already are.

    - If you live close to a school you applied to - VISIT so that you know you like it! Only visit a school that's far away AFTER you have been accepted. I'm not about to drop $500 to go visit a school in DC I wasn't even accepted to.

    - If you have a question about something, don't hesitate to email financial aid or admissions. It'll show you're interested in that school.

    I had more to say than I expected. I hope this helps at least one person! :)
  • CollegeGrad09CollegeGrad09 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Texas A&M University(TAMU) and University of Texas(UT) will not admit transfer students who have a F or three drops on their junior college transcript. This is an unwritten rule.
  • Jazmine1423Jazmine1423 Registered User Posts: 449 Member
    Pick safety schools that you love. I made that mistake, and I would only enjoy going to one of my safety schools(fortunately, I was able to have a range of options to choose from, at the end of the day.)

    APPLY TO FINANCIAL SAFETIES!!!!!!! Everyone forgets this, and it's hard to accept the fact that your parents may not be able to afford to send you to your dream school. It's a harsh realty, but one you must keep in mind throughout the entire process.

    Apply to scholarships! Your local scholarships have less competition that the really big name ones, and lots of small 500 dollar scholarships add up!
  • jbudd1jbudd1 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    How many AP tests you take, how many community service projects you write on your resume, how many afterschool jobs you've had, how many times you've made honor roll— none of it matters. The admissions council spends such a small, insignificant amount of time reading your application that all that matters is your SAT scores it seems. Oh, and how good of a mood your admissions counselor is in at the time he/she reads your applications. So really the college process boils down to one thing: luck. Maybe you will get in, maybe you won't. But it's not worth killing yourself to take 5 AP's and all honors. Just keep calm & carry on and wait. Wait for whatever decision they make because you stressing over it for months isn't going to change their decision.
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