How to Get Admitted: We Break Down the Steps, from Application to Interview
What's the formula for college admission again? High school activities + public service
(grades x ACT or SAT scores)? The truth is, there isn't a college admission calculator
out there. And that's a good thing.
Colleges and universities don't just see you as a set of admissions criteria, they
look at the whole package — your leadership qualities, your service to the community,
what you say about yourself in your personal essay and what others think about you
in your letters of recommendation. So what's in your admission tool kit? Read on to
get the scoop on the college admissions process.
Read the Admission Requirements
Narrowed down your top college choices? Even think you've decided on an undergraduate
major? Not too fast. Before you submit your college application, read over the requirements specific to the university and program you're interested
High-demand programs can fill up early. Plus, applying for college early can mean
more scholarship or financial aid money for you — and a less-stressful senior year once you've been accepted.
Submit an Application
Get ready to talk (a lot) about yourself. You'll need your social security number
and other important information at hand, but you'll also be answering questions about
any college credit you've earned, what you want to major in and writing essay questions.
You can apply online. Many colleges — including Saint Louis University — accept the
Common Application. Find out everything you need to know about applying to SLU.
Write a Great Admission Essay
Why does an admission counselor care what you think the best invention of all time
is? Or what you'd do if you could travel back in time? They're not looking for the
"right" answer; they're looking for an answer that tells them something about you.
The best advice for writing college admission essays (beside paying close attention
to spelling and grammar) is to be honest and sincere. What topic do you know better
Write an Activities Resume
Your academic transcript will tell colleges what you do in class. But grades aren't
the whole story. A one-page outline of your high school activities gives colleges
and universities another way to get to know you.
Include student organizations, sports, volunteer work or involvement in your place
of worship. What specific activity you do is not as important as the leadership and
commitment it shows.
Ask for Recommendation Letters
The adults in your life have been watching you grow for years; give them a chance
to brag. If your high school is large and you don't have a close relationship with
your guidance counselor, choose a favorite teacher, a coach or an adviser to write
a recommendation letter.
You can also ask a mentor, your boss or a volunteer supervisor. Just remember, recommendation
letters for college shouldn't come from people who are related to you (sorry, Mom).
Ace Your College Interview
One of your best chances to make an impression on your college admissions counselor is by talking with them in person. Be confident. Tell them why you are interested
in college and what you hope to study.
And the best tip for an admissions interview? Ask questions. A genuine interest in
the school is what every college and university is looking for. Get more admission interview tips here.
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