Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

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

1234579

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

  • d33d33d33d33 Registered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    Finish your safety apps first so you can focus on your more "important" apps. I spent so long on my apps for reach schools that I sent in very rushed essays to my safety/match schools and was worried I wasn't going to be accepted anywhere for a while.
  • Dchang11Dchang11 Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    -> KNOW THE SCHOOLS YOUR GOING TO APPLY INSIDE AND OUT AS IF YOUR A STUDENT ATTENDING THERE. IF YOU SCHEDULE AN INTERVIEW, NOT KNOWING YOUR SCHOOL WILL DRAW A LARGE RED FLAG.
    -> IMPROVE ON YOUR ACADEMIC GRADES THOUGHOUT YOUR FOUR YEARS IN HIGH SCHOOL. AN UPWARD TREND IS BETTER THAN A DOWNWARD TREND. STRIVE BEYOND YOUR POTIENTIAL AND EXCEED YOUR OWN EXPECTATIONS. IF YOU ARE NOT TAKING AN AP CLASS, ATTEMPT TO TAKE AN EXAM WITHOUT TAKING THE CLASS.
    -> JOIN EC'S THAT YOUR PASSIONATE ABOUT. PRIVATE COLLEGES WILL ASK YOU ABOUT YOUR EC'S BECAUSE THEY WANT TO FIND OUT IF YOU HAVE A PASSION OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM. THIS MIGHT DETERMINE IF YOUR ACCEPTED OR NOT.
    -> START BRAINSTORMING ON POTIENTIAL PERSONAL STATEMENT TOPICS LATE JUNIOR YEAR. COLLEGES USUALLY KEEP THE SAME ESSAY TOPICS EVERY YEAR ON THEIR APPLICATIONS. TAKE A SNEAK PEAK ON THEIR APPLICATIONS IF YOU HAVE THE CHANCE. I ALSO RECOMMEND LOOKING AT THE COMMON APP. THEY ALMOST NEVER CHANGE ANNUNALLY.
    -> GET THOSE APPLICATIONS DONE EARLY. CREATE A SCHEDULE ON WHEN TO COMPLETE AN APPLICATION AND SUBMITTING THEM. START WORKING ON THE COMMON APPLICATION PERSONAL STATEMENT DURING THE SUMMER. I ALSO SUGGEST KEEPING CONTACT WITH YOUR ENGLISH TEACHER. THEY MIGHT BE ABLE TO HELP YOU WITH GRAMMAR AND OTHER ESSAY STUFF VIA EMAIL DURING SUMMER VACATION.

  • CCtoTop20CCtoTop20 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    What does applying "ED" mean?
  • chasingthesunchasingthesun Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    @cctotop20 It means that you agree to enroll if accepted, and you must apply earlier (around Nov 1).
    I covered this more in depth here: http://www.imperfectidealist.com/2014/08/college-admissions-advice-from-college.html
  • SquashieSquashie Registered User Posts: 91 Junior Member
    If you love playing sport, make sure you play competitively at state or even national level. Sport recruitment will be a factor in your admissions and it will definitely help
  • jyana32jyana32 Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    I just wished I knew to relax more and not fret over my GPA and SAT scores. Many universities take into account each one and take a look over what you did in high school (ECs). I used to get scared that a certain GPA wasn't high enough or that my SAT wasn't good enough to get into any college - but truth is there is a place for everyone.
  • SoroolSorool Registered User Posts: 81 Junior Member
    Take risks. Don't underestimate yourself.
  • StartAdventuringStartAdventuring Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    While you should definitely be realistic, don't be afraid to do something crazy like apply to a reach school you weren't considering due to its prestige. (You just might be accepted!)
  • UndecidedinSTLUndecidedinSTL Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    At the end of your junior year, start listing some colleges you are potentially interested in. Over the summer of your senior year, make as many visits as you possibly can.

    Take the ACT/SAT as early as you can so you can see what you got and where you need to be if you want to go to a specific school.

    Take financial aid/cost of attendance into consideration where you're applying.

    Make a list of about 10-15 schools. I applied to 6 schools and regret not applying to more.

    Show interest in the school as best you can via e-mailing the admissions' rep.

    Don't slack off Senior year. The hard work you do before that can be brought down by your SR year.

    Lastly, look into schools that interest YOU. Not schools that your parents(unless they are setting standards to how far away you can go etc) want you to apply to aside from maybe an in-state school. While your parents' should definitely be involved in the process, YOU will be the ultimate one receiving an education, so choose the school that makes you the happiest and fits you the best.
  • highenderhighender Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    As a parent with one in college and one applying to top schools, I went to one top school and one grad school, and also served as admissions officer for one school, as well as student scholarship interviewer for another .

    1- Try to get the best scores you can on SAT , ACT, and others.
    2- Try to improve., but realize that you may hit plateau.

    3- Try to get the best grades you can, and concentrate and focus on your homework.
    Top colleges like higher GPA, though I have admitted some with 3,5 or lower , due to excellent EC (extracurricular)

    4- Essays need to tell us what kind of person you are, what passion, what made you realize or matured at this point.

    Worst essays are the ones which rehash your wanting to go to college or rehashing lots of extracurricular work, unless that EC made you suddenly aware of a life lesson .

    5- Student leadership, attitude, motivation, and self starters or people who showed creativity in one area , is definitely good.


    GOOD luck.

  • ZucchiniSoupZucchiniSoup Registered User Posts: 272 Junior Member
    @BPearlman97‌ Your math is a little bit off for that statistic, I think it needs to be billion instead of million.
  • skysunseaskysunsea Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    1. Do not underestimate yourself. If there is a school that seems a little bit "out of your league" but that you would really like to attend if they accepted you, give it a shot. Take the risk. It's always worth it.
    2. Give yourself plenty of time. Know all the deadlines and application requirements for each of the schools you apply to. Do not save anything to the last minute. This is your future on the line.
    3. Do not follow friends or boyfriends/girlfriends. Make the decision that is best for you and for your career.
    4. Know what you want. Start visiting colleges before senior year so that you can experience different campus sizes, different types of schools, and different atmospheres. You don't want to end up with a wide variety of very different schools and no clear direction.
    5. Narrow your list to fewer schools. You are most likely going to want to apply to too many schools. In reality, if you know what you are looking for (and hopefully you do -- try your best to figure this out as soon as possible), then you don't need to apply to more than five or six schools.
    6. Have a safety school so that you know you will be going somewhere. Make sure you would actually be able to be happy at this safety school.
    7. In the end, it's all a crap shoot and sometimes it makes absolutely no sense why certain people get in or don't get in to different schools. Try to just be accepting of whatever outcome may occur.
  • jjknowlesjjknowles Registered User Posts: 96 Junior Member
    I'm replying a little late but I definitely have learned a lot so here you go!:

    1) Accept that everything probably won't turn out how you want / expect. I am attending a school that I had never thought I would've been accepted to in a million years, while I got denied from several schools that I truly thought I would be accepted to - and I'm completely fine. Basically, expect for everything to be changed up!

    2) If you have reservations about applying to a school just because you think that you won't get in, APPLY ANYWAYS! I wasn't going to apply to my school of choice originally because I was completely sure that I would be denied and didn't want to waste my time and money - but look where I am now. You truly never know.

    3) Don't put your business in the streets. I know that from mid junior year to senior year, pretty much 95% of all conversations you will have with your peers will be about college (well, I'm assuming that if you're reading this website). Be careful with who you tell where you're applying, because not only can it get really competitive and you will go mentally insane from worrying about others applying to the same schools as you, but it will also be really awkward when decisions come out even if you were accepted to your schools.

    4) Get a sense of what your family can afford after applying for financial aid, scholarships and your school. I've witnessed so many of my friends get into schools they love but not be able to afford it. Save yourself the devastation and have a serious talk with your parents about how much aid you would need to attend your dream schools.

    5) Write your essays passionately, not passively. When I originally wrote my common app essay, I approached it with a preconceived idea. It took me about a month to write it, and when I finally got it proofread, okayed and produced a final edit, I realized that I hated it. After all that work I ended up scrapping it, but produced one that I absolutely loved on a completely different topic. If you don't feel good about your essay, re write it!!

    6) A) You aren't obligated to do interviews and B) If you don't get an interview, it's not the end of the world. If you don't feel good about doing an interview, follow your gut! Don't give them a reason not to admit you, and only do interviews if you truly feel like you will do well and it will help your chances. Also, some more selective schools RANDOMLY choose people for interviews - so if you don't get one it's not that big of a deal! I have friends who would become upset because other people got interviews randomly while they didn't, and lets just say those friendships didn't make it through the end of the year.

    Good luck class of 2016, and I hope this helps :)
  • croolycrooly Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    Don't get overly attached to your 'top' school. I tried to do a top 'tier' and although I didn't get into any of them, I did get into several schools I really liked. Don't let rejections or waitlists get you down, but when you get an acceptance let yourself fall in love with that school. The school I'm going to was not my first choice, but that doesn't matter because I love the school.

    As far as getting in, I suggest choosing a rolling admissions or early college that you have a good chance at getting into. If your first admissions decision is an acceptance, it takes the edge off of almost all of the subsequent decisions (though losing my top school hurt pretty badly) because at least you know you've got somewhere to go. Even if you don't like it or have any real wish to go there you're to be going to college next year one way or another! If the rest doesn't pan out, there is always the transfer process.

    DON'T apply to too many! It just makes the end of the process harder.

    And be prepared for interviews. some questions are odd, but many aren't. There will always be a few about the school so read up on what's important to them and know it inside an out. I had an 1hr 30min alumni interview where we discussed the oddest things about the school.
Sign In or Register to comment.