5 Ways to Improve Your Chances of Getting Into Your College of Choice (Part 1)

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting Into Your College of Choice - Part 1

Part of the stress involved with filling out college applications is worrying whether or not you'll be getting into the college of your choice. But selecting one college and putting all of your hope into that acceptance letter can lead to lots of frustration. Here are 5 tips to help you get into one of (if not the) colleges of your choice.

1. Apply Early!

Applying early has several benefits. Apart from applying early to colleges themselves, early application for scholarships and financial aid help ensure you have the most money possible! Applying early to your schools of choice can improve your chance of acceptance by at least 25%! And if you're still undecided about which schools you want to apply to, click here to for a list of 10 schools where early application makes a significant difference in acceptance rate.

2. Have a Carefully Designed Education Plan

Even in middle school, it's not too early to start planning for college. It's harder to get middle school students to understand the importance of planning ahead, but the earlier you start the better. Why? Every student is unique. From homeschool students, to public schools, charter schools and more, the educational path to college should reflect your own personal experience and play into your own strengths. One academic path does not fit all, so having someone who can help you determine your best path, and then create a strategy to follow that path, will improve your chance of academic success greatly. Please visit my "services" page or contact me for a free consultation!

3. Take Both the ACT and the SAT

Most universities will accept your scores for either the ACT or the SAT, so if you take both tests you improve your chances of being accepted. Some students perform better on the ACT, and some perform better on the SAT, so keep your options open. In addition, it's important to take any opportunity you have to take the PSAT and any other practice tests that will help improve your scores.

4. Pad Your College Resume with Carefully Selected Extra Curricular Activities

Extra-curricular activities are an important part of any academic portfolio. But it's important not to over-generalize your experience. Much like in the working world, being a "generalist" is going to help you in some areas, but hurt you in others. People like specializations. Not only that, but picking a specific set of activities helps define your personality as a candidate, and helps you stick out in the minds of recruiters. Whatever your main interests are, focus on those and make your experiences count. Don't join a bunch of different clubs and volunteer for a bunch of unrelated things just for the sake of having it on your applications. Everything should have a purpose and meaning.

5. Don't Put All Your Eggs in One (School) Basket

As you start to decide what you want to go to college for, you will probably be doing a lot of research on what the "best" college is for that particular academic path. But putting all of your hopes and letting your gauge of academic success rely entirely on one school isn't the best way to go about it. There are likely many schools that will be a great fit for you, so keep an open mind. Choose three "dream" schools, and keep your eyes open for other opportunities as they come to you.