Preparing for College Applications
Once you have made your decision to spend your next 4 years furthering your education, below are some topics you should consider in order to be prepared for your college application process so that you can have priority over many other applicants.
It is not a cliche, doing well academically from the “get-go” in high school can be extremely beneficial for your future. Many times students are aware of the things that matter to College Admissions only when they are applying for them. Depending on how you performed in high school can either benefit you or harm you. Obviously, if you did well in your classes it will be a benefit. However, if you were easily distracted by enjoying your teenage years careless, this could potentially be harmful to your college application process. It is fun to be a teenager, but it would serve one well to also be responsible and fulfill one’s role as a student. Performing well in your classes throughout high school could set you up for great advantages and a successful path.
Two points to note carefully. First, it is never too late to start performing better. Even if you are starting your senior year and suddenly realized that things just got real and you need to focus on finding opportunities to get to college, you can always start performing better. Besides, colleges like to see that you can overcome obstacles and that whenever you mean business, you can be successful.
The second point is that if you feel like you can’t get good grades, do not be afraid to reach out to teachers, teacher assistants, and tutors to help you understand certain materials. Teachers appreciate when students ask questions or ask for help. If you are shy/embarrassed, talk to the teacher after class so that he/she can understand your struggle. Things will get better! Be committed to your learning and education.
Being involved and being a member in your high school’s clubs and organizations is proven to better academic performance. Students who are engaged in high school clubs tend to like school more. In addition, clubs usually are the first time students start fighting for the things they like/or believe should be pursued the most, developing their philanthropic persona.
Colleges and universities like when a student goes beyond their classes. They like when you are committed to another part of your school. Essentially because it shows you are interested in much more than just getting good grades in your classes. When you are a member of your high school’s clubs and organizations, colleges see that you are truly committed to the high school itself. Which translates into you likely be involved in their colleges once you get accepted and be committed to it. Your club membership usually shows that you won’t be a dropout in their college.
A good number of clubs and/or organizations to be involved in is three. If you like too many clubs, try to be a member of 3 clubs and/or organizations for at least 1 year. Eventually you will find clubs and/or organizations that you will like the most, so you will likely stick to those and stop checking other clubs out. In addition, if you can hold a leadership position in the club or organization you are involved in, that would be exceptional. Colleges love when you have a steering position. Some traditional club/organization positions are: president, vice-president, treasurer, secretary, and social media manager.
Nowadays just good grades isn’t enough to get you into your top college choice. Besides academic excellence and club/organization membership, volunteering is highly valued by a college who is potentially going to admit you into their program.
Volunteering is the giving of your time and talent (the things you can do good to extremely good) toward a social cause. There are many places where you could be a volunteer. Many times, too, the club or organization you become a member of will often organize a volunteering event. For example, your National Honors Society could organize a park clean-up day. Your Spanish Club could organize an event for translating school material to parents. Your Entrepreneurship Club could help fundraise money for your school to buy extra iPads to boost student engagement in the stock market.
Besides the extra advantage volunteering will give you on being accepted to your college choice, it will also fulfill the empty spot within you in helping someone else by expecting nothing back. What a great feeling it is to see others receive what they have been truly desiring for long, but couldn’t afford to have or do what you were able to do for them.
Students who are actively engaged in a sport during a school year are more likely to get better grades than those who aren’t. Although it seems that a sport will just take time out of your studying, students who play a sport prioritize their daily roles and responsibilities.
Statistics tell us that a student who plays a sport knows that after their practice and games, they have to get to studying and doing their homework. First because in most schools students must keep a certain GPA to be eligible to play that same sport. Second, a student who loves the sport he/she plays and the attention given to them, will want to continue playing. Therefore they will also meet their role of a student, do their studying and homework.Sports are a fun way to be engaged in school. It also creates lifelong friendships.
Many colleges also give some financial aid to students who play sports. If a student is a great player, he/she can potentially go to a college for free! So playing a sport can help you academically, get you healthy, be engaged in your school, and potentially lower the costs of your college.
College Admission Standardized Tests, SAT & ACT
The majority of the colleges and universities you will apply for will ask you to submit to them your SAT and/or ACT scores. The purpose of these tests is of admission to undergraduate programs of colleges or universities. Standardized Assessment Test, SAT, measures your aptitude in Writing, Critical Reading, and Mathematics. Scores can range from 600 to 2400. The American College Testing, ACT, measures English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, and Writing (optional). Scores range from 1-36.
Both SAT & ACT test the content you already learned in high school. According to your score, it will allow you to fit into the college or university just right for you. Better yet, on many cases, when you meet the criteria of colleges’ admission, the SAT & ACT scores can help you get scholarships! Needless to say, the better you perform on the tests, the higher the chances you will have to get into your college choice and get financial aid.
Although these standardized tests are about what you already know, it never hurts to strategically study for them. In fact, millions of students around the nation do study for them and even take practice tests. Some resources available to you are your high school counselors, college readiness counselors, study groups, and even the internet (SAT: https://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/. ACT:http://www.actstudent.org/sampletest/).
Getting ready for college is time consuming, but the payoff is tremendous. It is never too early to start getting ready for college and never too late to start. There are many important advantages of doing so, and we, Sprowl & Smith Coaching, are here to help you get there as informed and coached as you can be. We can help!