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So, what exactly do I need to do to apply for college, and when should I do these things???? Instructions: (You know, the “stuff” you are SUPPOSED to read in order to know what you need to do!) Things You'll Need: A computer or good ole' fashioned pen & paper for application and essay forms. A flexible schedule during summer months / school year. Time Patience 1. Step 1 Research colleges that interest you! (Online, your school library and the College Fair which usually takes place in the fall at Cashman Field) You first and foremost need to do a little research. There are typically plenty of college fairs and various college representatives that go around different high schools recruiting. Take the time to take in the facts and views from these sources if you are not particularly focused on getting into a certain college. Make sure to look into all aspects of these schools. Besides just classes, pay particular attention to dorm life, possibilities to room off campus, possible sports, Greek life, etc. Even if you do have an idea of where you want to apply to, if something catches your eye, look into it! You may find out your dream school really isn't the fit you need! 2. Step 2 Consider the details and options! Once you have a list of possible colleges, look into their application process: - Can you apply online? - Can you apply early decision? Is this process binding? - What are the typical things this certain college looks for? - Statistics and breakdowns of past classes (ACT scores, SAT scores, Average GPA, Average class rankings, etc). - Critical dates and deadlines for applying. 3. Step 3 Start the application process as early as possible. Get in on the application process! Make sure to fill out everything correctly, and submit whatever attachments are requested with the application. If possible, apply online for the assurance that your application will not get "lost in the mail" on the way to its destination. If the college requires essays, make sure to complete those and attach them with your application. If given the choice, write as many quality essays as possible. Though cliche, never sacrifice quality for quantity! 4. Step 4 Set up an interview with admissions if possible. Some colleges require an in-person interview, while others may have an optional one or none at all. If it is possible to travel to the campus, have an interview. These events allow for the admissions staff to put a name to the application, and even make a personal connection with you. It is a simple fact of life: A good impression during an interview can sometimes "tip the scales" in your favor if you may be lacking in other parts of your application. Make sure to dress nice and show up well groomed. 5. Step 5 Visit schools you are accepted or expect acceptance from. Though this is step five, the process of visiting schools can start before you even apply for schools or be after you get accepted. Make sure to visit the campus of schools you are interested in if possible before accepting and try to stay overnight at least once. There are many students who transfer schools after their first semester or year simply because they didn't like the atmosphere or people. 6. Step 6 Wait with confidence! Wait for the acceptance letters to come in! Don't sell yourself short if you have the chance to accept one school, but have not heard from other possible ones. Make sure to get an answer from all options, and don't be afraid to call admissions offices if you do not hear from them via postal letters. 7. Step 7 Enjoy the best months of the high school years. Finally, just relax and enjoy the ride. Applying for college is both an exciting and stressful point in one's life. But with proper preparation and organization, it can be smooth sailing. Apply For A Pell Grant Move your career forward with an accredited online degree! www.CourseAdvisor.com Find Stimulus Grants Want Uncle Sam Pay For College? Get Your Federal Grants & School Guide! Edu.SearchByDegree.com/Grants GM College Student Offer Exclusive Offers For College Students. Get GM Offers Details. www.ExclusiveGMOffer.com/Student Stimulus Financial Aid Take Advantage of Stimulus Bill Aid for Education. Find a School Here! FinancialAid.Search-Schools.com Tips & Warnings To enhance your application, it's always good to be active in school and your community. It doesn't mean you have to fill up all those slots under Clubs or Volunteer work. Pick an activity you enjoy, be active in it, and give it an honest effort. College acceptance boards will look favorably on an activity you put a lot into rather than many which you hardly know anything about. Some schools have scholarship opportunities during the application process. Be sure to fill those out as well should you come across them. Military academies in the United States have a very extensive application process that should be looked at during the early months of junior year. Plan accordingly! If paying for college is a roadblock, look into various ROTC programs. Most provide substantial financial assistance with tuition, books, and even pay monthly stipends for additional "spending money." Some schools offer early decision and early acceptance. Make sure to pay particular attention to what the school in question offers. Early decision can sometimes be binding and require you to pay a fee to withdraw an appoint should you be accepted, while early acceptance typically just allows for you to be accepted in the fall previous to your graduation. Try as much as possible to apply to lots of schools. While application fees may run expensive, you want to give yourself options in case you do not get into a certain school.
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