Advice for High School Seniors Applying to College This Year
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Advice for High School Seniors Applying to College This Year

It's college application month, here are some tips and advice that might help you out!

Advice for High School Seniors Applying to College This Year

It's college application month and many high school students are applying to college in the next few months. This college application year might be difficult for some due to COVID and many high school students not being able to see their friends or counselors as often as they might have been able to before. I remember how nervous I was when applying to college last year, but with the help of my college counselors I was able to make it through. Here are some things that I learned when I was applying to college last year:

  1. The FAFSA takes a longer time to complete than some people might think.

When I first heard of the FAFSA in high school I knew it was a complicated form of filling out financial information but I didn't expect the form to take so long to complete. The wording of some questions and filling out your parents' financial aid information is really complicated. It is better to complete a little bit of the FAFSA each day rather than doing it all in one day which I did and submit it early. In addition, it is always a good idea to reach out to your guidance counselor if you don't understand a question on the FAFSA because you don't want to fill out the wrong information.

2. Be prepared for college acceptances and rejections.

Getting an acceptance letter from college will be the best day of your life because you have finally secured a spot at a college. Especially the first college acceptance is the most memorable experience. Although we don't want to get rejections from colleges, sometimes there are a few rejection letters that come along the way. I remember crying over my rejection letters, but in the end you have to remember that there is a lot of competition and sometimes it's not a matter of who is more smart, colleges have a certain number of seats they want to fill and they cannot take everyone that applied. Therefore, be proud of yourself and the college acceptances that you receive and don't let yourself down just because you got rejected from a college.

3. Try to focus on yourself and not other people around you.

This is less common now that most schools are operating remotely, but it is tempting during college application time to focus on what schools other people are applying to and get nervous. I remember getting nervous when I heard that other people are already done with their personal statements, applying, etc. Focus on yourself and your deadlines and not what other people around you are doing.

4. Apply to schools of all levels: make a list of safe, match, and reach schools.

My guidance counselors told all of us that it was a good idea to apply to all levels of schools and have a list of safe, match, and reach schools in order to increase chances of getting accepted. Look at your grades, test scores, extracurriculars and decide which schools you will have a better chance of getting in and which schools you might have a harder time getting into. Each situation is different for each student based on their circumstances.

5. Early Decision vs. Early Action?

It's quite easy to mess up between early decision and early action. I remember being confused about the difference between early decision and early action until I finally figured it out. Early decision is a binding decision with a college telling them that if you get accepted to that school that is the school that you will be attending. On the other hand, early action is more flexible and you are not making a binding decision, you are just applying to the school early so that you have a better chance of getting in when the applicant pool is smaller.

6. Research the schools that you are applying for.

It is a good idea to do research on the schools you are applying to so you know the programs that they offer in their schools. Also research the dorms and meal plans if you are planning on living on campus. Also go to information sessions the colleges offer, many colleges are offering virtual information sessions. You can ask questions to admissions counselors and also find out more about the school.

These are some small tips/advice and things I learned during my college application process. Good luck to everyone applying to college this year!

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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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