From maintaining good grades to visiting campus, there are so many things to consider if you want to be accepted to one of your top schools. This can be a stressful time.
Keep these five lessons from an admissions counselor in mind, and you’ll find things will be far more manageable.
It is a good idea to start researching colleges and preparing as early as you can. You will want to begin at least by the beginning of your junior year. There are placement tests to take and research to do. You will need to compile recommendation letters, fill out applications and write admission essays.
In addition, scheduling campus visits is recommended if you are able. Narrowing down your top choices and finding the best fit for you will take time. In order to make the best decision, you want to give yourself plenty of time and a wide amount of options.
Find Ways to Stand Out
Admissions counselors see a lot of applications. They aren’t able to spend much time on each one in their initial assessment. That is why it is so important to show them what you have to offer.
You want your application to stand out from the rest. It’s often not enough to be seen as meeting the minimum requirements.
You want to show that you’ve gone above and beyond. You can do this in lots of ways.
Take challenging coursework and sign up for meaningful volunteer experiences, particularly if that work aligns with your career aspirations or other passions.
Emphasize what you’ve learned through your after-school job and excel or show enthusiasm for a hobby.
It may also be a wise idea to invest in a professional consultant who can advise you on crafting the perfect application materials. If you have a particular career or academic program interest, it is even possible to search for a firm who can provide guidance specific to your interests.
For example, enlisting the help of BS/MD admissions consulting can give you an edge when it comes to programs designed to lead to a medical degree.
Show Your Personality
Don’t be afraid to show admissions counselors who you really are. While it is true they’re looking to tick certain boxes, they also want to get a feeling for who you are as a person. Admissions professionals are tasked with creating a diverse and well-rounded student body.
Colleges and universities strive to fill their classes with a variety of individuals. Demonstrating your personality and unique style can help you to stand out. It will show them why you would make an ideal contribution to their campus.
Be authentic. Show your humor. Don’t hold back when it comes to talking about your passions. It may be tempting to give admissions representatives what you think they want to hear, but this strategy isn’t recommended.
Check Your Social Media
Sometimes admissions counselors will do an online search to verify something on a student’s application. In these instances, it is not unusual for them to stumble upon social media accounts.
If this were to happen with your application, would you feel comfortable with what they might find? If the answer is a definitive "no", you’ll want to take some time to review your social media profiles.
Take down anything that might not paint you in a positive light. Remember, it’s good to show your personality but extremely distasteful posts could cost you an invitation to your top choice school.
When applying to schools that most interest you, it is important that you demonstrate interest. It’s not enough to send off your application materials and then just sit back to wait for a reply.
other valuable tips:
Admissions committees appreciate students who make themselves known and who regularly reach out with questions or to learn more. This shows enthusiasm and gives representatives a chance to get to know you.
Show up for in-person campus visits if you’re able. Take time to participate in virtual activities like Facebook Live events, as well. Even taking the time to open emails and click through newsletters shows you’re willing to participate in learning all you can about the school.
Keep these tips in mid when getting ready to apply to colleges. Admissions counselors are looking for bright, unique and well-rounded students. Showing them what you have to offer requires preparation and dedication.
Image Credit: college admissions counselor guide by twenty20.com
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