Well, here's my little list of helpful tips.

<ol>
<li><p>Take SAT II tests at the end of the class. Especially Math II.</p></li>
<li><p>Align your intended major (if you are asked to declare one) with your strengths. Try to target special programs in which you have a genuine interest; this shows interest and makes you "stand out."</p></li>
<li><p>Register for interviews with as many colleges as possible. They are seriously not that stressful and can be very useful in strengthening your application and learning about the school. Have pertinent questions prepared.</p></li>
<li><p>Apply to schools far away and see if they'll fly you in for an accepted student day (half-joking here).</p></li>
<li><p>Don't let essays overwhelm you. Get them done early and have multiple people proofread them. My Swarthmore essay was edited by the alumnus with whom I had an interview and I got an early-write acceptance (that couldn't have been based on my other stats).</p></li>
<li><p>If your family's income is below $60,000, apply for Questbridge. It helps so much.</p></li>
<li><p>If you are waitlisted, send a letter of interest soon. This got me into my first-choice school; I'll outline what I did. The first paragraph affirmed that the school was my first-choice and my gratitude to still be considered. I devoted entire paragraphs after that to things I had done since I applied, going into great detail. Trust me, this letter is important, as most waitlists are unranked, and I've heard that students on the waitlist who send in updates often are considered first.</p></li>
<li><p>Going along with the last point, don't <em>totally</em> slack off second semester senior year. Remain active in ECs and remain looking for opportunities to assist your application.</p></li>
<li><p>TAKE ONLINE REVIEWS WITH A GRAIN OF SALT. Consider that only people with strong feelings take the time to post on these sites, and their opinions may not reflect the attitudes of other students at all.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>Well, I guess that's about it. Hope it was helpful in some way to somebody. I kind of expected to have more to say, but I guess I'm just drained from the whole process.</p>

<p>That's very helpful! Thank you!</p>

<p>Sent from my iPhone using CC</p>

<p>Agreed. Nice summary, vanguard.</p>

<p>Great post love #4 :)</p>

<p>
[quote]
Great post love #4

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Not to sound like an idiot, but what exactly is the 'half-joke' in number 4? Read and reread and still don't get it.</p>

<p>^ S/he is saying to apply to schools that are far away so you can possibly get flown out and get a day tip. I think the "half-joking" part means not to specifically apply to far away schools to do that but if you do apply to far away schools then it is worth a shot.</p>

<p>good summary of general tips</p>

<p>Would you still want to take an SAT II test even if you didn't do too well in the class? I took AP US this year, but decided not to take the test because I hadn't done so great. </p>

<p>thanks for the tips!</p>

<p>Thanks, nice list</p>

<p>Thanks for posting! I'm bookmarking this for my application process...</p>