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How to Start Your College Applications Process


While applying to college may seem like a daunting task, take comfort in knowing that there are great steps you can take to simplify the process. By breaking everything down into manageable steps, you will set yourself up for success!

1. Inform Yourself

Colleges are looking to discover who you are and what you care about. During the application process, don’t try to fake it until you make it. Avoid embellishing essays and listing the types of accomplishments you think they desire. Be honest about your experiences and who you are. This is the best way to find a college that will best suit your needs.

2. Speak with People

Let people know you are ready to apply to different colleges. Speaking with your teachers, your family, your friends and your school counselor, or anyone else in your circle can generate a positive idea exchange. Talking about your future goals with people you trust can help you see how college will help you achieve your dreams. This is also the perfect warm-up for college applications.

3. Brainstorming

It is common to have to describe on your application the different things you have accomplished inside and outside of the classroom. Think about your hobbies, awards, activities, and honors. Make some lists of the items and accomplishments that mean the most. Take time to write some notes about your favorite class subjects and why you are attracted to them. Think outside the box too. Have you volunteered anywhere? Do you work with animals or kids or the elderly? What artistic and musical abilities or linguistic benefits do you have? Has traveling been one of your passions?

4. Organize Yourself

If you can keep track of everything you need, you’ll be ahead of the game. For each college you’re applying to:

You will be much more ahead of your peers if you can keep track of all the details. To help you stay on track and keep track of what is required, create the following for every college you apply to:

  • Store important documents by creating a virtual and real folder for every school.
  • Create and print off a checklist to track important dates and your progress on every portion of the application.

Find these numbers and keep these resources handy:

  • Your SSN or Social Security Number
  • Your high school transcripts (a copy)
  • The school code from your high school
  • Your college admission test score report form

Obtaining these vital records before you require them will help you feel more prepared and less stressed. Taking the time to complete a few tasks each day or doing some daily research will drastically simplify your college admissions process and help you feel less overwhelmed than leaving everything until the deadline.