Applying for college can be daunting, especially if you are met with questions like “What are you majoring in?” or “What schools are you looking at?” The answer to those questions can definitely be “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure.” So, here are five things to do before you submit your applications!
1. Keep track of your extracurriculars.
Cross country? Debate team? Student Organizations? Whether you volunteer outside of school or do internal work with your peers for various clubs—keep a record of them! Colleges want to know how you can contribute to their campus since you’ll be a part of their community for post-secondary plans. Keeping track of those activities can benefit you when you have to record them on applications. This brings me to #2!
2. Make a Brag Sheet.
When starting the college prep process, I was told to make a brag sheet. A brag sheet is a record of all the extracurriculars you have been in and how long you’ve been in them. Not only is this good to refer back to but it can help when asking for teacher recommendations.
3. Look for teacher recommendations.
Is there a teacher you’ve had during your time in high school that knows you well as a student? Teacher recommendations are great because they help colleges understand you as a student. When asking teachers for recommendations, send a note through Scoir with the subject line “NAME Teacher Recommendation” and send a message expressing that you would like to request a recommendation from them. In this note attach your Brag Sheet so they can utilize it as a reference!
4. Apply for scholarships!
Starting early for scholarships is never a bad idea. Platforms such as Bold, Scholarships360, and Unigo have hundreds of scholarships catering to many demographics and backgrounds of students. Having this in your back pocket gives you a head start when you begin applying. One thing to remember is that you should never have to pay for scholarships; if you do, it’s a scam!
5. Start your college list early.
The beginning of your senior year can be overwhelming especially since the prep process is new to you. So, a fun thing you can do is look for schools that cater to what you want to study. Many colleges and universities have admission counselors visit schools for fairs and information sessions so expressing that you did your research can give you an advantage when applying! While it is never too early to start looking at colleges and universities, the earliest you should start is your junior year of high school. That is the year when the classes you take are super important.
The college prep process is long and tedious, but with these tips, I hope it can set your mind at ease.