College applicants must break down the Application Process into manageable parts. A simple way to do so is to list the parts of the College application that must be completed. See “Organize the Application Process“, below, for help with organizing and tracking your applications. But long before you will apply to a College, there are important first steps, in order to be ready to apply to College and be an Eligible College Student:
- Discuss financials with your parents – what can they afford to pay? Will you/should you take out loans to pay for your College education?
- Establish relationships with your Teachers & Counselors
- Take Challenging Courses
- Get Good Grades
- Make Goals, Plan & Prioritize your life
- Participate in activities both during and outside school hours
- Fill your summers with fulfilling and interesting activities, which might include working or volunteering
- Decide which Standardized Tests you will take and when, including Subject Tests, which may be taken as an underclassmen
- Create a Resume
- Outline your Common Application Essay
At the same time, you will be searching for the right-match Colleges:
- Search for Colleges and Organize the College Search
- Find Sources for Mining Data on Colleges
- Organize the College Data
- Schedule Admissions Interviews & Campus Visits, and preparing College Summary Pages for Colleges where you will interview.
- Decide Where You Want to Apply to College
Once you know where you would like to apply, you must Organize Your Applications:
After you have been accepted into College, you will need to decide where you actually want to attend. This process may include scheduling overnight visits and meeting again with Admissions Officers. You will likely spend a lot of time reviewing the data you organized to help you make a thoughtful decision. Lastly, while you are doing all of this activity you must Maintain Stamina.
The Application Process is time-consuming, frustrating and competitive. But it can also be enlightening, and even reassuring. See this March, 2015 New York Times article for a little perspective.