Understanding the College Admissions Process While in High School

Understanding the College Admissions Process While in High School image 1 (name IMG Understanding the College Admissions Process While in High School 1)

College admissions is the process of applying to and being accepted to a college or university and typically involves application submission, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal essay. Colleges and universities use this information to learn about your academic potential, extracurricular activities, and personal qualities. 

The college admissions process can be competitive, and many colleges have very low acceptance rates, so it’s helpful to go into the application process prepared. Many things will be considered when you apply to a college. If you have a solid academic record, extracurricular activities, and personal essay, you have a good chance of being accepted to the college of your choice.

Keep these tips in mind as you prepare to apply to college:

  • Start early. The college admissions process is time-consuming. Give yourself plenty of time to research colleges, take standardized tests, and write your personal essay by starting early.
  • Do your research. With thousands of colleges and universities in the United States to choose from, it’s important to find schools that are a good fit for you. Consider factors such as location, cost, academic programs, and extracurricular activities.
  • Take standardized tests. Most colleges require applicants to submit standardized test scores, such as the SAT or ACT. These tests can be challenging, but many resources are available to help you prepare for them in advance.
  • Get letters of recommendation. Ask for letters from teachers, counselors, or other adults who know you well and can speak about your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and personal qualities. Start building strong relationships with teachers and counselors by engaging in school activities and asking for help, when needed.
  • Write a strong personal essay. This is your chance to tell colleges who you are and why you want to attend their school. Your essay should be well-written, personal, and engaging. 
  • Apply to a variety of schools. Submit applications to multiple schools, including some you are likely to be accepted to and others you are reaching for. This will give you a good chance of getting into a school of your choosing. 
  • Take challenging courses. Advanced Placement® (AP®), International Baccalaureate® (IB), and other challenging courses can demonstrate your academic ability and potential for success in college. 
  • Maintain good grades. Colleges look for students who have a strong academic record, so maintaining good grades throughout high school, especially in rigorous courses, is important.

The college admissions process can be daunting, but you are not alone. Follow the tips above and take advantage of the numerous resources available to help you through the process. Most importantly, know that thousands of colleges and universities would be lucky to have you as a student.