How to Get Into College

by Emma Manchester
(Maryland)


How to Get Into College


College appears to be a mystery. You fill out a million things on your application, but what exactly will get you in? Well from someone who has recently been through the process, I devised a list of what got me into college. There is no particular order of importance because all are important for getting into that dream school!

How to Get Into College - Step 1 - Volunteering

College’s love students who are not only smart, but involved in the community. Students who make a difference at their own communities are more likely to make a difference on campus. College’s love to see students that give back to the community, and are involved.

How to Get Into College - Step 2 - GPA

Your grades are key. You need to buckle down starting your freshman year, and get that extra GPA boost that will put you above others. Grades show the work ethic (or lack of) you have. Not only is a high GPA important, but good grades in challenging classes are important. Graduating high school with a C in AP Calculus will look a lot better than graduating with an A in gym. If you get good grades, and work hard, you will be rewarded.

How to Get Into College - Step 3 - SAT Score

Why does one test matter? Well the SAT is designed to rank you against students across the nation. The SAT sets everybody on the same standards. So what’s the best way to conquer the SAT’s? Well there are many things you can do. Before the SAT, study and practice. Sign up for College Board’s question of the day, and take a class at your local community college. Buy the Barron’s book and take the practice tests. Another strategy is to take it more than once. Students tend to improve the more they take it, and there’s no limit on the amount of times you can take it! If you don’t improve, don’t worry. Most colleges will take your top three scores, and some colleges will only look at critical reading and math.

How to Get Into College - Step 4 - Extracurricular Activities

Just being book-smart won’t get you into college anymore. It’s time to build up that activities resume! Colleges want to see well-rounded students who are involved with school. The best thing to do is to join clubs, and do sports. Club’s and sports can get you scholarships, and open up opportunities for leadership, another key to getting into college. By becoming captain of your sports team, you not only get involvement with school, but leadership points too. The student leaders are the ones who will excel on the campus and in the work place.

How to Get Into College - Step 5 - Essays

The admission officer who is reading your application only knows the facts: you’re class rank, GPA, and SAT’s. The college essay not only show writing skills, but also your personality. Your essay will show if you’re the right “fit” for their college. My best advice is to get your English teacher to help you. Your teacher will know what admission officers are looking for, and will fix those pesky grammar errors so your essay sounds as good as possible.


Read more College Admissions Help from other students and parents who have been through process.



Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Emma for sharing your advice about How to Get Into College Best of luck to you.


More College Admissions and Financial Aid Help

College Financial Aid Advice | College Admissions Help | College Essays | Scholarships | FAFSA | Federal Student Loans

Submit your entry in our College Essay Contest:

To share your entry in our scholarship contest, just click here.

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to College Admission Help.

ACCEPTED!

by Markus
(St Cloud, Florida)


It was summer; I was having fun, enjoying the two months of adventures until it came to a screeching halt! August came around and I was suddenly a high school Senior. It’s a bittersweet feeling. On the bright side you are almost close to obtaining the diploma sought after for thirteen years; but on the other, it's the most nerve racking stint of high school. You have classes that are routine and boring, TONS of money that has to be spent throughout the year, and most importantly constant worries about what college you will be attending. While I was a victim of these obstacles I kept my composure with these tips to get ACCEPTED!

1. APPLY EARLY

I cannot emphasize how important it is to have your application complete as early as you possibly can! While other kids are putting off applications, you can submit your own to your dream school to be reviewed early! This is so beneficial because colleges like when they don't have to cram thousands of college admission essays and applications right before their deadline date. Also, they will be more lenient to applicants at the beginning of the process. As it gets closer to deadline dates they crack down on who they let in because they are strictly looking for the more competitive students. So if you don't have the strongest GPA, test scores, or resume, applying early will give you some leeway and a better chance to get accepted. I would advise having all your applications in by the end of October. This not only boosts your chances but will also give you and earlier decision. When you get your first acceptance letter it will feel like you lifted a piano off your chest and you can continue to finish your year worry free!

2. Write A Strong Essay

Essays are often the difference maker in whether or not an applicant is accepted. When it comes down to two applicants with similar resumes a strong essay will work in your favor and give you the edge. Essays are one of the only ways the reviewer can get to know who you are and your story. Develop a personal essay that displays your character and describes the skills you possess. Colleges are looking for students who can contribute to their community, so always list what you bring to your future school. Ensure that your essay starts off interesting to capture the readers attention. An excellent tip is to begin essays with a scene. Give the reader an image to put in their head, with a place or event that is very thought-out and extremely descriptive. This little two or three sentence improvement will turn an average essay into a college acceptance closer. Throw in a sentence using the schools mascot! Tell them how you want to represent the school's image positively as an excellent "Gator" for example as the University of Florida. This shows that you're interested in becoming a part of student life and its fun to add. But what if you're not the best writer? Use one of the best resources out there; YOUR ENGLISH TEACHER! Our teachers are bright individuals who are always willing to help, especially to assist you in attending college. Have your teacher proofread your essay; even a great essay can always be improved by a second set of eyes.

3. Make a Decision

Once you get all your acceptances back you're going to feel great! But now you need to choose, "Where do I want to go?" Take a campus tour to each of your top colleges. Visiting a campus will show you first hand where you are going to be and ultimately give a feel for comfort. Could you see yourself living there? Talk to current students! Students will give you their own experiences and give you tips on the school. Make your decision on what school you plan on attending early. It will give you the opportunity to get your first preference housing and give you time to pay all needed deposits so you aren't slammed with bills at once. You give yourself time to research scholarships at your school and also local ones in your community with more time than other students. You will be relaxed and prepared, while all your friends are worried. Making an early decision will remove so much stress from your senior year. It will give you time to truly enjoy your last year of high school.

Now its time for you to gear up for college! These three short tips will improve your chances in getting into your dream school and will alleviate a ton of stress on your senior year. Good luck to everyone on their futures as we all pursue success!


Read more College Admissions Help from other students and parents who have been through process.



Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Marcus for sharing your tips on how to get ACCEPTED to college. Best of luck to you.


More College Admissions and Financial Aid Help

College Financial Aid Advice | College Admissions Help | College Admission Essays | Scholarships | FAFSA | Federal Student Loans

Submit your entry in our College Essay Contest:

To share your entry in our scholarship contest, just click here.

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to College Admission Help.

High School to Your Advantage

by Alejandro Aguilar
(Miami, Florida, United States)

Receiving a college acceptance letter is more of an emotional experience than it is a moment of self gratification; though of course this latter part settles in after receiving warm hugs from family and friends. It is while reading the first lines of that paper that suddenly the world around dilates time and each pulse of the heart becomes maximized, rushing back into reality only after the words "Congratulations" and "Welcome." The stressful accumulation of anxiety is so quickly relinquished, that any sense of worry reaches a plateau where everything becomes blissfully numb.

Before skipping to this scene though, there are some things you can do in order to reduce your level of anxiety, or - that is - increase your level of assurance. The main goal is to show colleges you are a proficient student; someone they would like to have. From there, it is a matter of what you do in school and outside of school.

While in school, focus on two aspects. First, grades, then activities. Usually, schools will have a "Club Fair" at the beginning of the year, but if not then this should be a great opportunity to talk to peers and teachers, asking them to introduce you to clubs that you might like. Make sure to join and get involved. You are bound to find something entertaining, from making robots, to participating in debates, to singing, to playing basketball. All these things will add to your student resume, your knowledge portfolio, and your friends list.

Before any extracurricular activities, the central notion to keep in mind should always be to make sure you maintain a high grade-point-average (GPA) showing understanding of your classes at appropriate and above-average levels. As the saying says, the more the better! Thus, you should also strive to take advanced classes. One example found nationally is College-Board's advanced placement curriculum and the A.P. Exams. Some students build their schedules out of these classes, but the best strategy is to choose a class that appeals to your interest. There is a list of options between all the programs. The mathematically inclined can choose calculus and economics, the realists can toy around in physics, the surrealists in art history and music, and for those of other interests there is psychology and languages to name a few. One jewel you can take advantage of is an English course, not only for its intellectual merit, but also to get a lead in the SAT test.

This brings us to the next topic: the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), the American College Testing (ACT), and other exams. The best tip is to do your best in these tests. They will be long and confounding, but you can overcome their challenge by making sure to practice, practice, practice! It doesn't mean cracking open a book and filling in practice exams, this is only part of it. You can train yourself by applying vocabulary and concepts in your classes, writing, and talking.

Yes, in short, make it part of your life. Be a well-rounded individual. Visit and contact the colleges that you wish to attend. Start early and finish early with applications and responsibilities. After all, the main goal is to get into your top choice school so that you can achieve a career that will define your future standard of living. If you manage this, you have already increased your probability of getting into the school that you want. Now, unless you know everything is paid for, start looking for scholarships and enjoy the future ahead!


Read more College Admissions Help from other students and parents who have been through process.



Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Alejandro for sharing your college admission advice to use High School to Your Advantage. It's best to plan ahead so you have lots of good experiences to put on those college applications. Best of luck to you.


More College Admissions and Financial Aid Help

College Financial Aid Advice | College Admissions Help | College Essays | Scholarships | FAFSA | College Loans for Students

Submit your entry in our College Essay Contest:

Click on this link to apply online for our scholarship contest.

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to College Admission Help.


Welcome!

Welcome to College Financial Aid Advice, a website full of information on scholarships and grants, student loans, and other ways to save money at college.


Important Things to Do

Class of 2017 Scholarships - High school seniors should start their scholarship and college search now. See our list of Scholarships for High School Seniors

FAFSA - The official 2017 - 2018 FAFSA is available now. See information about FAFSA.


College Financial Aid Tips

Scholarship Lists An overview of the different types of Scholarship Money for College.

Grants Learn more about grants, the other free money for college.

Need Tuition Help? Reduce the cost of tuition with these college Tuition Assistance Programs.

Tax Credit Claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

College Savings Plans Save money for college with these College Savings Plans.

Need a Student Loan? Yes, you qualify for these college Student Loans.


Popular Scholarship Searches

Scholarships for High School Students

Scholarships for College Students

Easy Scholarships

Scholarship Contests

Weird Unknown Scholarships

Merit Based Scholarships

Scholarships for Minorities

College Scholarships for Women