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


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

  • alisol17alisol17 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    make sure you visit the schools you are planning on attending. especially if you're looking at schools all across the country, make sure to visit them when they have the worst weather, so you have a realistic view of what living there will be like
  • SurvivorFanSurvivorFan Registered User Posts: 757 Member

    You can't really control that (for instance, it was 60 and sunny the last couple of days here in Philly). Just visit when you can.
  • awesomeirlawesomeirl Registered User Posts: 214 Junior Member
    EXTREMELY helpful: Make a matrix to keep up with the documents, test scores, applications that you have sent to your colleges.

  • sharpenedpencilsharpenedpencil Registered User Posts: 200 Junior Member
    @rejnel Well said.
  • FuXiaoBaiFuXiaoBai Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    edited April 2014
    I know that many are against the idea of applying to a list of schools, especially in regards to potential rejections and applying to schools and taking up another student's spot just because they were easy to add on to the Common App, but at the end of the day it's a survival technique, pure and simple. Speaking from experience (I'm a high school senior), I applied to 15 schools and probably would have applied to more if I had had more time in my schedule. Yes, apply to a couple safeties and definitely apply to a handful of middle-grounds or "fits," but as everyone knows, all bets are off when it comes to more selective institutions (& when financial aid is also a factor, the more colleges/options the better). I was accepted to eight, rejected from three, and waitlisted at four. Ivy Day saw some surprises (but ultimately a slaughter), and I thought that I would be ending up at a college that, while known world-wide for great academics and who was offering a large FA package, just wasn't where I wanted to be. Sure, the rejections were awful, but the *feeling that I would be attending a school where I was neither happy nor comfortable* was by far the worse feeling. My second-to-last college decision saw an acceptance to one of my top three schools.

    My ultimate ADVICE: apply apply apply, but be absolutely genuine and make the institute realize just how much you love them.

    Visiting schools, especially ones that are far away, are important because visits are tracked (again, at selective colleges). Write your heart out in all of your essays because this is the only part of your application that's *you* and not just cold numbers. Think of the essay as your plea for life, because in some instances it quite literally is.
  • marymacmarymac Registered User Posts: 321 Member
    My daughter applied mostly to match schools.
    She had three Early Action applications and one rolling admissions.
    She had 3 acceptances early on, is attending one of these schools.
    The fourth school waitlisted her, even though this school has never waitlisted anyone from my daughter's HS.

    My advice is to apply to a few schools that you would be happy to attend, can afford , and hear back from before RD dates.

    I also learned that Naviance history can be misleading.
    Some schools have become much more selective in a few years.
  • Momo13Momo13 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I'm a junior and I've begun looking at colleges. I have a friend that has already contacted their school of interest and is as good as in. Should I start getting in touch with the schools I'm interested in and their programs? And if so, how do I go about writing or calling them? What should I say?
  • TSTOTPTSTOTP Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    Honestly, I think it's a bit early to start contacting them if you don't know what you intend to say. Figure out some questions based on your interests and your needs first, and I think you'll make a better impression when you do write in.

    Who you address the letter to depends somewhat on the nature of the question. If it's financial aid related, some schools will want you to email the financial aid office directly. As a prospective student, the majority of your contact will be with the admissions office email. This info is typically available on the school website.

    My most important piece of advice for applying students:

    Think carefully about what schools you want to go to. Think about WHY you want to go to college. Is it purely for a quality education? Do you really need to go to the "best" possible school? Will your future quality of life really be hurt if you go to your match school?

    Also, don't lose perspective. Your time in college has the potential to be the most expensive four years of your life. If you're taking out loans or paying your own way, you owe it to yourself to make wise financial decisions that don't hamstring you in the future. Don't choose schools solely based on reputation, because you wanna have fun, or because you have something to prove. Think carefully about what kind of value you'll derive from your chosen field of study.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 12,181 Forum Champion
    @Momo13‌ You contact them by going on their website to the Admissions area and then look for a "Send me more info" kind of link. You will start getting emails. Open those emails and click on the links when you get them. Also, have you visited the colleges? Arrange a visit and an interview if they have them. If there is a school visit or college fair or info session, attend those and talk to the admissions person. Once you get an idea of the school and what you like, you will come up with questions. At that point you can email your admissions rep about them.
  • TorveauxTorveaux Registered User Posts: 1,461 Senior Member
    1) Deadlines can be a problem. Getting things done when the process starts can be a huge advantage, don't wait until the deadline to get something done.
    2) College loans should be outlawed or at least not be able to be mentioned ever as 'aid'. Better that they would only be available directly from the bank so the schools could not tout a loan as some sort of benefit.
    3) If you really want to go to a particular school or 'class' of schools, start in Jr. High and make sure you know how the whole political mess goes. The process has become a parody of itself with people doing 'ECs' specifically to get admitted to college rather than doing what they love.
  • Dchang11Dchang11 Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
  • inchikmominchikmom Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Make sure your high school transcript is received by the college! Call the college or go to their web site to check. Do not wait until the deadline (July 15th?), it will be too late and they will rescind you. They don't care whose fault it is, yours, your high school's, or the post office's. They say it is a student responsibility to check on the status. My son made a mistake with the college admission office address and now his application is rescinded and we already paid a bunch of fees for the dorm.
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