The College Application Process: Tackling the Tedious Task

By Briana, age 19, Pennsylvania
Sweet Designs Staff Intern
Sweet Designs Featured Writer

Featured Gold Star Writer BioSDM Staff Intern

Any potential college student knows that the application process is a monster all its own. As one of many who have gone through this treacherous process, I've realized there's not really an easy guide on how to make your way through this. When I was applying for colleges, I had to do everything myself, relying only on my super internet research skills.

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


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?


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!

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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