Applying for college can be stressful, especially if you are applying to multiple schools and academic programs. Ensuring that you fill out all of the information correctly and on time can be overwhelming and often hard to keep track. Every college has different requirements, so it is a good idea to ask for an admissions checklist or create a custom checklist for every college you apply to.
At almost every school you will have to do these things in order to complete your application:
- Fill out the application itself
- Send high school transcripts
- Take and send SAT, ACT, AP/IB exams, etc.
- Fill out financial aid (FAFSA) and scholarship applications
- Ask for Letters of Recommendations from your mentors, teachers, employers and have them send the letter directly to each school
Other optional things that you may have to submit (depending on your major and desired school), include written essays, subject tests from the ACT and/or SAT, and placement tests. The most important thing you can do when applying for college is ensuring that all of your application material is submitted in full and on time. Colleges typically don't make exceptions for prospective students, so be sure to apply early.
Also, as you are getting ready to send your applications off to each of your desired colleges, be sure to ask your parents and loved ones to review your admissions materials for errors. There is nothing worse than applying for a scholarship only to find out that you didn't get it because of one mistake that could have been prevented if you had someone else proofread it.
Likewise, if you are submitting a written essay or statement of purpose, be sure to have your mentors review your submissions and give you feedback and possible revisions. They can offer great insight on what it takes to get into a specific college or program.
No matter how stressful applying for college can be, do it anyway. Investing in your educational future is essential to your future as a successful adult. And if it gets too overwhelming, ask for help.