Getting a degree is one of the most important things that you can do in your life. They normally set you up for being able to get better jobs in the future, and you can often have quite a lot of fun in the process. Applying for colleges is notoriously difficult, with a lot of the top universities only taking a few percent of applicants each year. This article aims to give you a few pointers on how to make the application process a little easier so that you can handle it better.
Which School Do You Want To Go To?
The biggest decision you have to make is which schools to apply to. Although it can be tempting to just pick the top 5 for your chosen subject, you may end up without a place by doing that. As colleges are so selective, they really will only want to take applicants who can show how much they want to be there. It is very difficult to fake this kind of connection to a college, so make sure you pick somewhere you know that you actually want to go to. Most colleges will get you to write something similar to the NYU supplemental essay, which is an accompanying piece of work where you have to explain exactly why you deserve a place at the university. What trips applicants up on this is not being able to adequately sell the fact that they really want to be at that school. Think long and hard about where you really want to go and make sure you can explain what it is that you like about that particular college.
Figure Out Your Budget
Once you have selected your top choice colleges, you should double-check their fees. Going to university is an incredibly expensive thing to do and depending on which one you choose, you could be paying off the loan for most of your life. Working out how much you can afford to pay in tuition fees is really important and can help inform you of which colleges are worth applying for. Although it is very unfair to be priced out of the best universities, try to see it as an easier way to choose where to go. Sometimes it’s good to have your options narrowed so that you don’t get decision paralysis. Figuring out your budget is a good way to make your application process easier.
Make Sure You Are Taking The Right Classes
This is a pointer for those of you who are thinking about applying for university but are still a few years away from that happening. If you have a clear idea of what area you want to study, you need to make sure that you’ve taken all the right subjects to be accepted for it. This will involve a little bit of research into prospective universities and see what they like their students to have studied. You should also get a feel for the kind of grades you should be aiming for as well. If you find out that you absolutely have to have taken three science classes to get into medicine, and you’ve only taken two, you’ll need to look at your options. Sometimes universities have general entry requirements that may seem unrelated to the subject you want to study. Getting ahead and knowing what classes you should be taking for your chosen field will really set you up for being able to deliver a solid college application.
Pick Some Good Extracurricular Activities
Most colleges like to see that you are also involved in a lot of extracurricular activities. Universities want students who are team players, who will muck in and make the experience great for everyone around them. You could be the best student ever, but if you do nothing but study, you won’t be adding that much value to their university campus. If you happen to be keen on a particular sport, this can also help you get into some colleges as they may be looking to recruit for their teams. Think of extracurricular activities as bonus points that might just add up enough for you to be offered a place.
Take The Admissions Tests
As if you hadn’t already jumped through enough hoops to try and secure a place at a university, you also have to sit an entrance exam. This exam is part of the application and will be done at the same time. The scores needed to get will depend on the institution, but most universities will use these scores as their first way of filtering applicants out. You’ll need to do really well in these tests to be in the running for a place, so make sure to do some research into what the tests are like and revise as much as possible before sitting them. Please check out MCAT vs GRE for the differences and similarities in both the tests, when, how, and which one to give under what circumstances, etc.
Get All Your Documents Together
The last thing you should do, after you’ve finished your tests, written your essay, and got the required grades, is making sure you’ve got all of those documents together. The application process is long and complicated, and you’ll need to be able to supply them with a lot of different bits of information. Gather everything together and make sure you have everything that you need before starting to fill out the form. This will keep you calm and help you fill everything out correctly. It may also help to check out some extra useful resources that you might need as a student. Having all the information you need right beside you in a neat pile will help you in filling out your college application.
Many people say their happiest memories are from being at university. It’s such a formative experience and often where you make friends for life. Although it can be easy to daydream about being at college one day, to ensure that you get there, you have to put the work in for the application. There are a lot of steps to complete and difficult decisions to make, but if you work hard you should be able to get a place wherever you want to go. Try not to get stressed out or panic about not getting in somewhere, just make your choices and be happy with them.