The 5 Most-Asked Questions About Getting into College
Getting into college is a daunting task to undertake. If you’re applying to more than one (and you should), you’ll fill out lots of applications, so chances are you might have a few questions about the process. Keep reading for the 5 most frequently asked questions about getting into college.
- Do I Need to Go to College?
Many high school students may wonder if they need to go to college at all to be a successful adult. While the answer is no, it’s a little more complicated than that. For instance, if you know that you want to work in a trade that does not strictly require a college degree, like plumbing or mechanics, you can forego college and attend a training and certification course. However, this severely limits your options—if that is the only job for which you are qualified, and you later change your mind, you must make arrangements for different training.
On the other hand, a degree from a university in virtually any major, will open doors for you around the world and make you far more employable in a wide variety of areas, which means you have the freedom to change careers more easily. If you’re on the fence, remember that having a degree from a university will only improve your chances for work later on.
- What Do I Need to Get In?
Every university will have slightly different requirements of what they are looking for from applicants. Most will require a minimum GPA, proof of well-roundedness through extracurriculars, volunteer experience, or work, SAT or ACT scores, and an essay.
To ensure that you’re ready for the application process, make sure you know how and if your high school GPA is weighted to make sure it fulfills the minimum requirement. It’s a good idea to join a club or two as well since this will show that you have other interests outside academics. Getting your English teacher to have a look at your essay and make sure it’s in good shape will also be very helpful in this process.
- How Do I Get Financial Aid?
The first thing you should do when applying to colleges is to also apply for scholarships and grants. There are thousands of private scholarships available to students in the US, as long as you fit the requirements. Most colleges will also offer campus scholarships, and some will come automatically if you fulfill certain university requirements for eligibility.
Do not forget to fill out the FAFSA application at the beginning of the year. This will allow you to qualify for government grants. Grants, as opposed to loans, are funds you receive that you won’t have to pay back, so do this as soon as possible.
- Can I Get into College with a Low SAT Score?
If you didn’t perform well on national tests like the SAT or ACT, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t get into the school of your choice. If you have an otherwise high GPA and an impressive list of extracurriculars but bombed the SAT, the college could see that it just may have been a bad test day for you. If you are otherwise qualified, the SAT may not affect your entrance negatively. Likewise, if you have poor grades but aced the SAT with a well-above-average score, many colleges may see your academic potential.
- Do I Need to Know My Major Before I Go?
It’s a bit of a misconception that you have to know what your career will be when you get your degree. Instead, you don’t really need to even know your major before you apply or get accepted. Most colleges provide an “undecided” option when selecting a major. This will allow you to take your freshman year for basic courses and general education. If it turns out that you liked your required biology class more than you thought you would, you might consider a biology-related major. If you aren’t sure right now, don’t feel pressured to know exactly how your college years will go before you even start.
Although getting into college is a challenge, it doesn’t all have to be a mystery. If you’re getting ready to apply for college, make sure you have all your academic ducks in a row, and you’ll be all set.