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What I Wish I Had Been Told About the College Admissions Process

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Bailey Vannatta

April 15, 2015

What I Wish I Had Been Told About the College Admissions Process
You might think you don’t have to get serious about college until your senior year of high school. False! Not only do colleges look at your entire high school career when making their decisions; all four years of high school should be focused on preparing for college. Here’s a list of tips pertaining to college preparations that I wish I had been told:

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1. College Visits

Start visiting potential colleges as soon as possible, even as early as your freshman year. If you wait until your senior year to view colleges, you’ll make the decision process harder for yourself. Also, touring early can help you eliminate colleges off your list. You don’t want to apply to every single college you think you “might like.” College visits can help you determine what you’re personally looking for in a college, and finding that out early will benefit you tremendously.

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2. Grades, SAT/ACTs, and Activities

Not only do these determine whether or not a college will accept you, a lot of times they determine how much financial aid a college will offer you.

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If you aren’t satisfied with your SAT/ACT score and know a potential college will offer you more money if you raise it, retake it. If your resume is looking a little bare, join another club you’re interested in. Study harder for tests to make better grades. Basically, just put in effort: a lot of it. It will pay off in the end.

3. Scholarships

Everyone thinks their main priority is getting into college, but you also need to prioritize paying for college. Scholarships are not just available for seniors; there are many scholarships that are offered to all four high school grades, and sometimes even middle school students. Start your scholarship search early, it is better to start earning funds early, than to start when it is too late.

4. Consider Every Aspect

The first semester of my senior year, I thought I knew exactly where I wanted to go. I had my mind completely set and didn’t want to look into any other schools. My mother forced me to go to an admitted students’ day for a college that I had gotten accepted to, but had ruled out. I wasn’t happy, I told her I knew where I was going, but she made me go anyway. That day at that school made me change my mind. The school was everything I wanted and more, and it just fit me better than my previous choice. Consider every aspect when looking into schools. Don’t rule out schools just because you think you’ve found the perfect fit. You might find that even halfway through your senior year, you’ll change your mind. I’m glad I did.

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