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College Confidential’s “Dean,” Sally Rubenstone, put together 25 of her best tips. So far, the "25 Tips from the Dean" eBook has helped more than 10K students choose a college, get in, and pay for it. Get your free copy: http://goo.gl/9zDJTM

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?

  • NYMom3KidsNYMom3Kids Registered User Posts: 277 Junior Member
    Madeofradium, I liked your post so much both for its style and its content! You should try to submit it as a guest post on college based blogs. It is really worthwhile reading for students and parents alike. Duke and UNC are great schools! Best of luck to you!
  • urbanintroverturbanintrovert Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    I wish I'd been less worried about being super involved at school. I thought that my lack of significant involvement in clubs and sports at school meant that I was out of the race for the schools I was looking at, but I was very involved in activities outside of school, which was enough.
  • GlamorousGirlGlamorousGirl Registered User Posts: 195 Junior Member
    I wish I'd known a lot sooner that there are so many grants and scholarships for those in need so I wouldn't have waited so long to go.
  • csdadcsdad Registered User Posts: 2,289 Senior Member
    1) Take the SAT / ACT in Spring of Soph year to get a better idea of: a) What level schools you should be looking at b) How much you have to improve scores to be a serious canidate at your preferred schools 2) If interested in applying to selctive colleges, take the most rigorus courses offered at your high school 3) Visit colleges & attend information sessions
  • madeofradiummadeofradium Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    NYmom3kids- you're so kind! I was just hoping that someone would read it and learn from my mistakes. I'll definitely consider submitting it somewhere with some minor tweaks. :)
  • madeofradiummadeofradium Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    *ugh- Should be "can't explain" and then "can." Apologies. I'm typing on my phone.
  • Crimsonstained7Crimsonstained7 Registered User Posts: 1,300 Senior Member
    1. In today's day and age, stats aren't everything. But don't be one of "those" kids that applies for Harvard with a 3.0, 1200 SAT which makes people either lie that he has a shot, or be brutally honest.

    2. Don't go Early Decision unless you are 100% sure about the school. I had doubts maybe once, ever, about my school choice, so ED was perfect, but don't do it for the higher acceptance rate.

    3. Be unique in your essays, but not weird. Don't cuss in the essay to try and seem nonchalant, don't write about your love life, etc. Tell the admissions people about something that you couldn't in any other part of the application.

    4. Don't stress. I can't say this enough, it's not the end of the world if Harvard doesn't accept you. Be happy with what you've done, and be happy with where you're going.

    5. Don't apply to 20 colleges. You don't actually like all of them, you wouldn't actually fit at all of them, and it's really not worth it.

    6. Get everything done early. No excuses, be like Nike, just do it.
  • gurumakergurumaker Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Did you see this article on Forbes.com? Tuition Discount Alert: 50 Great Colleges Desperately Seeking Students - Forbes
    Lot's of top colleges still need students and are offering tuition rebates.
  • DoctorWatsonDoctorWatson Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Wow. So much good advice here. The people who see this thread before applying will be really, really fortunate.

    Here are some things I can add:

    1. You need to start early: months-before-summer early. I'd start with the basics, like what you want to do with your college years and what you're looking for. Make outlines and start researching some colleges of interest. The sheer amount of programs out there is overwhelming, but don't let that make you procrastinate. Find things that you certainly don't want in a college and move along if the one you're looking into has those features. For example, if money's an issue, look into the maximum scholarship amount a college will award; some schools are expensive even with their top scholarships. By summer, you should *at least* have three reasonable schools that you know you'll apply to. Start on your essays when summer starts.

    2. Tailor your application to what the admissions committee is looking for. Where would you get that information? Many schools, especially the private ones, have that on their websites. Stanford is a huge example of this. A couple people on this site who were accepted said they used this approach. Worked for me, too. Just be careful not to over do it.

    3. If getting 5's on the AP exams is within your capability, don't convince yourself they're not important. Keep in mind you are competing with the Gods of College Confidential. Where you slip, the competition will gain :-)

    4. Brace yourself mentally for disappointment. Imagine what it will be like it being rejected and having to settle for something else. And keep something like an emergency chocolate bar and an iPod nearby when you're opening decision letters.

    5. Relax and enjoy your senior year (responsibly).

    6. Once you decide where you want to go, find out how to register for classes ASAP. The best classes fill up in minutes at some places. Don’t get caught off-guard.

    7. Be super excited for the beginning of the rest of your life.
  • MissindepedentMissindepedent Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    1. Picking a school that has a good program for your major instead of choosing schools based on how many parties they have or fun it is and where your friends are going.
    2.Staying on finanacial aid! OMG dont expect much from them unless you are saying on top of your finances such as loans and scholarships.
    3.Most importantly do not apply too late. you want to know where you will be attending ASAP. Applying for colleges should not be a drag
  • TripleBzTripleBz Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Seriously take advantage of ED/ED/Rolling.

    Don't be lazy and only do a handful of applications. I say 7 absolute minimum, upwards of 12-13 is best. The more options, the better.
  • bookmousebookmouse Registered User Posts: 324 Member
    Gurumaker posted a link to a great article that could be helpful to many people.
  • matthewjohnsonmatthewjohnson Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    Just went to a mock college admissions fair with my school
    EC's are extremely important!
  • kanickkanick Registered User Posts: 217 Junior Member
    Tour a school that you were accepted to before you reject it!
  • Riceball14Riceball14 Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    First and most importantly, do not procrastinate on those essays! At least get started a few weeks or even months in advance because it's the essays, at least for me, that put the most pressure on you during the application process. Starting them is the hardest part so find a good time to begin, relax, write, and show admissions who you really are and everything from there will be simple and much less stressful.
    Also, I would advise you not to do college visits during the winter months.... Walking around a campus when its 30 degrees and windy and raining does not make for the best experience. Good luck!
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