The Path to College Admission Success
Getting into College is
Not Good Enough
There is a big difference in being successful in the college admissions process and getting into college. Being successful in the college admissions process means to:
- Get admission to one of your preferred colleges,
- Study College Major(s) that you are genuinely interested in and that makes you excited,
- Kickstarting a career that not only fits your personality and abilities but also makes you happy; and
- Completing your college education with the minimum amount of financial burden possible.
Following the path outlined below will certainly improve your chances of success. And while these points may seem like “all the answers” you are looking for, it is just scratching the surface.
Prep U4 Success drills down deeper into the process, thus empowering you to succeed.
Good luck and remember Prep U4 Success is always there to help!
- Choose your high school classes carefully. Also check out recommended minimum course requirements at colleges for your fields of interest.
- Enroll in Advanced Placement (AP) classes in high school to earn college credits.
- Participate in extracurricular activities at school such as sports, clubs, societies, academic competitive teams, community, religious, government, art, music, etc.
- Do internships, volunteer, or find a summer job to get real-world experience.
- Find out about and take standardized tests such as the American College Testing (ACT), Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).
- Nothing is private online within social media and your posts could influence college admission decisions.
Career Aptitude, and Choosing Majors
- Discover what makes you happy and is getting you excited.
- List your strengths, weaknesses, values, personality traits, motivations, and ability to express/control emotions.
- Play with several Career Aptitude and Career Assessment tools online to find out what professions fit your personality and abilities (such as MAPP Career Assessment, Princeton Review, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator).
- Based on the above research, identify, and eliminate career options.
- Research career options/occupations in terms of average wages, projected job openings, number of graduates, etc.
- Get advice from guidance counselors, parents, teachers, and professional advisors.
- Based on your career preferences, identify associated fields of study and College Majors.
Identify Your College Preference
& Create A College Shortlist
- What is the best learning environment (small liberal arts college, large public university, or online) for you?
- Check the college admissions requirements.
- Evaluate curriculum of the College Majors and departments of interest, as well as career services.
- Visit college campuses, attend college fairs, and check out dorms and facilities. Now virtually of course.
- Evaluate factors such as location, community, and campus culture.
- Talk to current students and sit in on a few classes. Again, virtually if possible.
- Evaluate cost considerations and the importance of financial aid.
Apply for College Admission
and Make Final Decision
- Plan when to apply. Consider applying under a school’s Early Action (EA) plan.
- Prepare your college resume including high school information (graduation date, GPA (weighted), class rank, and SAT/ACT scores); academic awards, publications, honors, and other achievements; coursework not on the high school transcript; work experience and employment history; volunteer activities and community service; extracurricular activities and hobbies; and language fluency and special skills.
- You will need an official high school transcript(s) and standardized test scores (ACT and SAT to be transmitted to the college). Some colleges had become test optional even before the pandemic – so research the requirements.
- Include letters of recommendation from teachers, spiritual leaders, mentors, employers, and other non-family members.
- Prepare essays or personal statements such as significant accomplishments, future goals, how life experiences shaped you, and what you hope to accomplish at college.
- Complete admissions applications online through the college’s website. Look at Common and Universal College Applications to apply to more than one school at the same time.
- Make final decision after you have received the college admissions decisions and financial aid award notifications.
Get Financial Aid
for College Expenses
- Use net-price calculators of schools to get a sense of out-of-pocket expenses.
- Complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and research the federal grants (financial need) and scholarships (academic achievement) of US Department of Education.
- Also find out about the Federal Work-Study program on how to get a job on or near campus while attending school.
- Visit the website of the college to research the grants and scholarships (e.g. unique talents and full-athletic scholarship) that they offer.
- Student loans are available from several financial institutions.
- Research outside organizations offering scholarships tailored to research, academic interests, geographic location, talents, extracurricular activities, etc.