4 Things To Consider When Applying To College
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4 Things To Consider When Applying To College

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4 Things To Consider When Applying To College

Ever since the summer started, I've been receiving messages from nervous rising freshmen. About what, you ask? Well, anyone who's read at least one of my articles knows it could have only been about one thing:

College applications.

15 strings of essays, resumes, transcripts, and overall college applications later, with successful enrollment in one of the nation's most renowned universities, I guess you could say I'm a seasoned veteran when it comes to the college application process. But just last year around this time, I had absolutely no idea of what awaited me in the coming months. And if I knew then what I knew now, I would've been so much smarter and so much more efficient when it came to where I applied.

Due to popular demand, and to the start of college app season, I present you with my list of four things to consider when applying to college. Hopefully, these things to keep in mind allow you seniors to go into the application process with a clear goal and mind!

1. Figure out costs.

This is an important one.

Debt is not a joke, guys!

I'll put it simply--if you will not be able to afford attending, do not bother applying. Some colleges are wild cards; of course you're going to attend if it's MIT or an Ivy. But if the school isn't super-amazing, doesn't offer super-amazing programs, or you just personally don't find the college itself super-amazing, it's certainly not worth it if it's going to break the bank. Many decent schools offer good financial aid; there are so many more more fishes in this sea!

2. Location, location.

Not a lot of people think about this when initially applying. The bigger and more prestigious the college, the better, amirite?

But what if you get in and all of a sudden have to move to upstate NY or Massachusetts, over 100 miles away from home? Will you really be ready for that?

Definitely talk to your parents when you choose colleges to apply to. Debate the pros and cons of moving away. Yes, some people are ready to go as soon as HS is over, but many students have never left the nest before. Plan ahead, guys. You'll be glad you did. When you leave, you will treasure how easy your parents made your life and you'll treasure your parents, period.

3. What programs are available?

If you're going into pre-med, are the schools you're applying to supportive of a similar program? What about journalism, or economics? People often aim for prestigious schools, and yeah, I get that. But here's an example I like to use: there's no way an English major can (properly) function at a school like MIT; the programs are just not suitable! It sounds straightforward, but its something many students forget as they dive right into the college app process.

Figure out what you want in a college, and apply accordingly. That's all there is to it!

4. Most importantly, keep your head out of the clouds.

Yes, you may be talented. But so are hundreds--maybe thousands--of other high school seniors across the country. Yes, you may have a perfect SAT or ACT score. But so do hundreds--maybe thousands--of other high school seniors across the country. You have awards? Again...

Catch my drift?

It's certainly not a crime to aim for the very best schools in the nation. However, safety and state schools are there for a reason. In the end, it doesn't matter if you've saved half the world from cancer. It all comes down to a stranger liking the words you've put down on paper.

Make sure the colleges you apply to contain a balance: a mix of safety, match, and reach schools. You want to have options when it comes to colleges to choose from! I can't tell you the many stories I've heard of people getting rejected from every school they've applied to because they've aimed too high...so play it safe, no matter what.

One last thing: don't be afraid to ask for help, guys! The college app process is both a terrifying and exhilarating time of a high school senior's life--so do your best to make it more of the latter!

Best of luck, loves.

"Now, voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find." --Walt Whitman

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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