The College Application Process: Tackling the Tedious Task
By Briana, age 19, Pennsylvania
Sweet Designs Staff Intern
Sweet Designs Featured Writer
I know when I was doing this, I was not the happiest person on the planet, but I did learn a lot about the procedure. So, in honor of this lovely time of the year, I decided to write a simple guide for you all to follow when going through this process. It goes along with my "Choosing a College" article from the August 2010 issue.
As with any other important, tedious process, there are a plethora of things to consider. So I've decided to make a list of these things using questions. I've put the questions in order by category. I personally find it easier to make sure I've thought of everything when I ask myself questions, and I think it will work for you too! :)
What You Need to Consider When Applying
MAJOR & CLASSES
What is your major?
Does the college offer your major?
If you decide you don't like your major, is the university big enough you can switch?
Are there internships?
Can you study abroad with your major?
Does your major have any notable faculty you want to meet?
THE ACTUAL UNIVERSITY/COLLEGE
Do you mind a large class size, or do you want more one-on-one with your teachers?
Do you prefer the comfort of being close to home or want to be far away?
What is the "feel" of the university? Is it a party school? Is it big into football? Is it liberal arts or more focused on science and math? What "feel" are you looking for?
Are you willing to go into debt for your education?
Have you applied for every scholarship they have?
Are you submitting your application before the scholarship deadline?
What does tuition include?
Can you afford the meal plan, dorms, or off-campus housing?
How many parts of the application are there?
Do you have the choice of essay?
Can you use a common application?
How many recommendations do you need?
What's their SAT average?
What's their average GPA?
Are your scores high enough to get into this school?
Do they accept AP credit?
Will already completed college courses transfer?
What sports do they have?
What clubs do they have?
Do they have Greek life?
Things you should most certainly avoid during the application process!!
DO NOT procrastinate.
DO NOT forget to proofread everything you submit.
DO NOT forget to have at least one other person look at your application.
DO NOT be afraid to go ahead and ask for more teacher recommendations than you need. It's good to pick which ones you think are best.
DO NOT forget to make copies of every piece of your application. It's very easy for things to get lost!
Remember, when applying to schools, you want to apply to at least 3 so that you have some wiggle room. Also, don't be afraid to apply to a certain school just because it seems intimidating. Don't doubt yourself! You may just make your way into Harvard!