Guide to Saving for College
Creating an impressive college application goes beyond answering every question and submitting it on time. You have to go the extra mile to really make admissions reviewers stop in their tracks and say to themselves, "We need to have this student at our school." You have to make those reviewers want you and believe me, it's no easy feat. But with a bit of planning and determination, your application will be on the top of the heap in no time.
A lot of ways to impress colleges have to be worked on way before you ever touch an application. That means applying yourself to your schoolwork and being an active member of the student body. However, we'll go into this in more detail in just a moment.
One way you can impress college admissions reviewers right off the bat is by submitting your application early. Being proactive not only shows that you aren't a procrastinator it also gives reviewers the chance to take a look at your information while the volume of applications is relatively small. Your accomplishments are much more likely to stand out at this point in time rather than when they are inundated with applications. Note though, that while it's a good idea to submit early it is not a good idea to rush through the process when filling out your application. Start early but take your time.
It can be tempting to lay out everything you've ever done on a college application, but you can accomplish a lot in four year's time. You don't want to leave college admissions reviewers swimming in your achievements. Rather, choose only the best of the best to include on your application. This goes for any application, really, including scholarships. You want to point out the biggest accomplishments and the most noteworthy items before the reviewer moves on to the next applicant. It's all about catching their attention quickly.
Likewise, be careful to only include information that is relevant to the particular question you are answering. It's easy to go on and on, but shows real restraint if you can make your answers concise and on topic.
There's no going back in time for a do-over so it really is imperative to start planning for college in your earliest days of school as a teen. High grades will impress the reviewers immediately and could even make them look past a lack of extracurricular activities or community service, depending on the college to which you are applying. Also, a high GPA and class ranking shows that you are committed to your schoolwork and ready for the challenges of college level work.
Colleges like to admit people with a well-rounded background. One of the best ways to show this is to have a slew of extracurricular activities under your belt. Maybe you're a part of the foreign language club and play a sport. Or perhaps you sing in the choir or dance. It's particularly helpful if you choose an activity or group that somehow ties into your impending major but how many teens really know where they're headed?
The main thing is to be a participatory member of your school. No matter what the school activity, the importance lies in the fact that you are active on the school campus outside of school hours. This shows that you have the ability to maintain a balanced schedule and can keep your grades up while doing so. So, if you're in your junior year and have yet to do something extracurricular, please sign up for something you're interested in right away. Colleges will look on you much more favorably if you do.
In addition to extra school activities if you are able to give back to the community in any way it could spell the difference between being chosen or not. Even if it's visiting the elderly once a month, teaching an adult to read, or helping out at the local animal shelter, colleges like to bring in students who want to have a positive impact on the world. And if you can ever sign up to take on a leadership role for even one project at an organization college reviewers should also be impressed by such efforts.
When trying to get into the college of your dreams it all comes down to what you've done and what you haven't done. If you haven't held good grades, you obviously can't do anything about that on your college application. Yet all the other extras mentioned can at least give you some kind of fighting chance. Truthfully it is incredibly important start thinking about college long before ever getting there because good grades are really just the basics on what makes an application sing. The best colleges are seeking well-rounded individuals who are willing to work hard and be engaged with the educational process. Do you apply?