6 Tips for Getting into the College of Your Choice
Applying for college can be intimidating. Your top choice is academically demanding and requires a lot of effort to get in. You may be wondering if you have what it takes. As you go through your junior and senior years of high school, there are several things that you can do to make getting into your top school more likely. With so much to consider, from grades to volunteer work, it can be challenging to know what to focus on. To help prospective college students, we’ve gathered six of the best tips for getting into your first-choice college.
- Focus on Grades
There’s no denying that grades are the primary factor that colleges consider when looking at applicants. Your performance in high school shows colleges what they can expect from you as a university student. If you show them you’ve put in effort all throughout high school, you look like a good option for the school.
- Take Those Tests!
We’re talking all of them. If you’re trying to decide between the SAT or ACT, take both. Many schools will only require one, but they will definitely look at whatever you send them. Remember, you can take each test more than once, and there are a plethora of study guides and practice tests to help you prepare. You may also want to consider taking SAT subject tests, as this will boost your likelihood of being accepted. If you’re taking AP classes, take those tests as well, but make sure you have studied and prepared. Many schools only accept the highest score of a 5.
- Take Difficult Classes
Starting in your freshman year, sign up to take as many challenging classes as you can reasonably handle. Advanced Placement, college prep, and any honors or advanced classes your high school offers will all show your top school that you can handle rigorous courses and aren’t afraid to challenge yourself. In fact, AP classes are usually weighted on a 5 point GPA scale, so it could help your GPA.
- Get Good Recommendations
Throughout your time in high school, try to build relationships with teachers or counselors. Get to know them and let them get to know you. By the time you apply for colleges, you should have a few good adults behind you that will brag about you to admissions and encourage them to accept you.
- Start Early
There’s a lot to learn with college admissions, so you’ll want to get an early start. By your junior year, have a list of colleges that have caught your eye, and perhaps some ideas of what you want to study. Lots of colleges have different requirements, so starting early will give you plenty of time to do research into what tests you’ll need to take and what they value in a student.
- Get Help
You probably know people who have gone through this process before. If not, there are counselors or teachers at your high school that can help with applications or essays. Take advantage of the abundance of resources around you, specifically teachers who have gone through the process and can share their experience and knowledge.
Applying to colleges is a daunting task, but getting into your top choice isn’t impossible. Start now to prepare yourself for becoming an ideal candidate, both academically and personally.