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Creating A College Application That Will Get You Accepted

Feb 8, 2008
Applying for college is a difficult, but rewarding process. You must make many tough decisions and budget your time wisely. Without preparing carefully and adhering to your plan, you may find yourself lost in a storm of forms, requirements, fees, and deadlines. However, with a solid plan and a little confidence, you can breeze through the application process and step into your new life as a college student.

Check out these tips to get you on your way to college.

Select Your Options

Applying to either too many or too few colleges and universities can be a tactical error. A good number to shoot for is between 5 and 8. Choose a few schools in which you are at least 90% sure you will be accepted, just to be safe. Think about your skills and try to locate colleges that focus in these areas. Also, select one or two schools for which you have a preference but believe your chances are somewhat less of being accepted. Then make an attempt to take a campus tour at the schools you are considering to make sure you like them.

When applying to a small variety of schools, you maximize your likelihood of being accepted without over-burdening yourself in the pursuit of too many simultaneously. By investigating only a few, but those with a range of possibilities of acceptance, you afford yourself the best chance with the least wasted time, effort, and money.

Plan Ahead

Few of us have the ability to make an overnight decision on a college. Everything from your first elective classes to sports and your overall academic performance go into your decision. If you plan to attend college at all, then your entire high school career has been preparation toward that goal.

Two essential items you need for adequate organization are a calendar with all your deadlines and a checklist of everything you need to do, in sequential order. Some schools provide these materials to applicants, but the initiative must be yours.

Most high schools have counselors who can help you apply to colleges and meet the deadlines for applications. If there are exams you need to take in advance, schedule them well ahead of time before the applications are due. Most college or university applications require you to obtain letters of recommendation, often from teachers. Allow those people sufficient time to write these letters well, bearing in mind they will likely receive the same request from other students.

It may seem tedious, but all the careful planning will pay off after you have sent out your applications early and have some time to spare while your friends scramble to get theirs in. There will be plenty more to plan once you are accepted, so doing this work expediently is all to your advantage.

By accomplishing everything you need according to a strict timetable, you will rarely be over-worked and rushed, and always sending out the highest quality applications. (That, by the way, is a good planning policy for handling your class assignments once you are in college.)

The Application and its Components

Every application for college is a little different, but most contain many of the same components. Each starts with a long form of basic questions about yourself and includes a request for your high school transcript, the list of your grades and classes you completed. The results of your SAT scores and/or other tests will also be passed on with your application. One of the most important sections of the application is your essay, which most schools require. Be careful to leave enough time to write each essay with a high quality level. Sometimes you can use the same essay, slightly modified, for many applications.

If you are careful and stick to your plan, the daunting task of applying for college can be completed with minimal stress. The application process itself is, in a way, a preparation for what college will be like - careful planning and hard work.
About the Author
For practical info concerning college & university options, such as the University of Phoenix online , psychology graduate schools , community colleges and many more, visit www.college-selections.com, offering great higher education insights!
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