College Prep Guide for Applying to Schools

November 13, 2020 at 5:00 AM
Get into the college of your dreams with this college prep guide.

Applying to college is often a stressful experience for many students. Not only does what school you attend have long-lasting impacts on your life, but with so many options to choose from, the slew of applications and questionnaires to complete, and ensuring you stand out from the competition, navigating the application process can seem overwhelming.

We here at Educational Attainment Services understand those concerns, but we also know that there are certain things you can do to better your chances and alleviate some of the stress. We want to help make your experience as simple as possible, which is why we’re sharing this helpful applying to college prep guide.

Top tips for applying to colleges

1. Read the Instructions

While this may seem obvious, it’s sometimes easy to overlook a small detail outlined in the school’s application or miss a rigid deadline. Most colleges have an application cutoff date between January 1st and February 15th, but you should start filling out the paperwork well beforehand. Read all of the instructions provided by the school and double-check it before submitting anything. If you’re still left with questions, you should reach out to the school for clarification.

2. Include Extracurriculars

Your academic performance is only one factor that colleges consider during the application process. How you spend your time outside of schools is also important, which is why so many college prep guides recommend including extracurricular activities in your submission. Schools prefer well-rounded students, so activities such as sports, social clubs, and volunteering are highly beneficial.

3. Show You’re Interested

Many colleges and universities keep records of what they call “demonstrated interest” in the school, and it can often be a deciding factor when choosing who gets accepted and who doesn’t. Simple measures such as visiting the campus and taking a tour, reaching out to an admission employee, or attending admissions events in your area bolster your chances of getting in. If there is a school you are particularly interested in, you can inquire into whether they consider demonstrated interest or not.

4. Don’t Rush the Essay

The admissions essay is your chance to speak directly to the school’s decision-maker, so take your time to ensure it’s an accurate representation of you. Write about a matter that’s important to you, whether it’s a person, experience, piece of literature. Reflect on how it impacted your life and any lessons it taught you. Don’t just write one draft, though. Fine-tune it over multiple versions, proofread it incessantly, and allow someone you trust to read it and provide valuable feedback.

5. Check Your Social Media

It’s becoming more common for people to lose their jobs because of social media posts, even ones from years ago. Many colleges will check your social media before making a decision. If they find any uncouth posts on your timeline, it will negatively impact your chances of being accepted. That’s why newer college prep guides recommend thoroughly reviewing all social media and removing posts that no longer represent the person you’ve become.

Improve your chances of getting into your preferred college.

Following these helpful tips will improve your odds of being accepted by your dream school, but Educational Attainment Services can help if you want additional assistance. We specialize in assisting students in the Greater Los Angeles area during the complex college application process. From crafting helpful college prep guides to writing persuasive essays, applying for financial aid, and practicing your college interview, we can give you the confidence you need to successfully transition from high school to college. Contact us today to get started.