Keep Track Of Your College Planning
There’s a lot to juggle when it comes to applying to college, but if you start early, you can space out the processand find ways to balance it with all your other commitments. Since the process is largely online, your applications and software like Naviance help you keep track of what you’ve completed and what you still have left to finish.
On top of this, it’d be a good idea to write up a checklist, set personal deadlines for each requirement, and keep track of everything according to your own goals and schedule. While you may not feel like you have to do anything for college until junior or senior year, the choices you make in 9th and 10th grade actually set the foundation for where you’ll apply and what will go into your college applications.
Colleges want to learn about you from your applicationyour strengths, interests, and goalsbut don’t feel you should join a club or take a class based on your idea of what would impress an admissions committee. They’re interested in learning about your authentic interests and unique voice.
Exploring your academic and extracurricular interests will not only help you develop and improve your skills, but it will also help you gainself-awareness. By thinking about what you like and setting goals, you’ll be able to find and apply to the colleges that would ultimately be the best fit for you.
Prepare An Extracurricular Rsum
Some colleges may ask for a résumé. Even if they dont, its good to include a summary of the activities that you take part in outside of school. If you play sports, participate in community service, have a part-time job, or take classes outside of school hours, these should all be included in your application.
If you are an artist, you should put together a portfolio of your work if it is applicable to the college you are applying to. If you are a writer or poet, include a sample of your work. This is also a good place to list your extracurricular accomplishments like MVP for your track team or awards for dance competitions.
A résumé will give the college a better idea of how you will perform in a stressful college environment and displays your ability to manage your time well.
Applying for college is a long and sometimes arduous process, but once its all completed and the acceptance letters come rolling in, youll be glad you took the time and put in the hard work to get to your dream school.
Review Your Financial Aid Award Letter
After you submit your FAFSA, the schools you applied to will send you a financial aid award letter. This letter might provide information on:
- The total estimated cost of attendance, including tuition and fees, housing and meals, books and supplies and personal and miscellaneous expenses
- Scholarships and grants you qualified for
- Work-study opportunities
Letters will vary from school to school. This sample letter shows you what type of information you can expect:
Image: Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority
If you want to accept the financial aid award, youll generally need to sign and return the letter. Most schools send letters by mail that youll need to mail back, but some have established secure online portals for the exchange of documents.
If you receive multiple financial aid letters, you can make objective comparisons using our awards comparison tool.
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Tackling The Personal Statement
Step 1: Brainstorm
Its important to begin with some juicy brainstorming exercises. These will help you clarify who you are on paper. Here are a couple different brainstorming options here for you to choose from:
Option #1: If you really knew me
Begin by saying the phrase If you really knew me and share something personal with yourself or with a partner. Share something youve never told anyone.
Go for it! Surprise yourself.
Option #2: I love
Set a timer for one minute and finish the phrase I love… aloud by naming a series of things that you love. Do this repeatedly until the buzzer beeps. Try and list as many as you can. This is a pretty fun free association game to get your creativity flowing.
Option #3: Gratitude Check-In
Gratitude helps us identify what we value most. Take turns with a partner sharing something youre grateful for. Get as specific and as personal as you can.
Once youve spent a bit of time warming up with these brainstorming activities, its good to move into a more essay-focused activity we like to call the Essence Objects Exercise. We consider the Essence Objects exercise the most complete exercise for the college essay. It helps describe the world you come from. By the end you should have almost all of the material you need to know how to write a college essay . Definitely find a quiet space and dive in. Writing this assignment by hand produces the best results. Heres how it goes:
Imagine a box.
In this box is a set of objects.
Tips For Community College Transfers
Given the rising cost of getting a higher education, many students now elect to complete two years at a community college before transferring to a four-year institution. While its worth it to save money, these students may face a few unique challenges when leaving their old school, applying to a new one, and getting settled in. These tips from college counselor Lindsey Conger can help make the transition easier.
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Which College Application Platform Should I Use
Students have several options when it comes to college application platforms.
One popular choice is The Common Application, which is accepted by more than 900 colleges, including some located outside the U.S. Students fill out the Common App once and can then submit it to multiple colleges.
However, in addition to the main application, Common App schools often have a supplemental section, Chu says. The supplement sometimes includes additional essay questions, so students may need to budget time for more writing.
But not all schools accept the Common App, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Georgetown University in the District of Columbia.
Other application options include the Coalition Application, a newer platform accepted by more than 150 schools, and the Common Black College Application, accepted by more than 60 historically Black colleges and universities.
Additionally, some colleges have school-specific or university system-specific applications. For example, the University of California system has its own application the only platform used by UC schools and students can apply to multiple campuses with one application.
Students can visit a colleges website to determine which application platforms are accepted. Also, the Common App, Coalition Application and CBCA websites list their partner schools.Play Video
The Fall 2021 Bursary Application Is Now Closed The Winter Application Will Open On December 20 2021
If you have any questions, please email us at
Fall 2021 Bursary Applications will be available from August 24 to October 4, 2021Winter 2022 Bursary Applications will be available from December 20 to February 7, 2022Spring 2022 Bursary Applications will be available from April 25 to June 6, 2022
How to Apply
Students can apply for all in-year bursaries administered by Algonquin College by submitting one application!
The application cycle is open once per term . Only registered students for the current term can apply online through the ACSIS, Bursary Portal.
Applying for a bursary does not guarantee acceptance, as the number of applicants can often surpass the bursary funds available. When this occurs, applicants are chosen based on the highest amount of financial need. Bursary applications received after the deadline will not be accepted.
Students awarded a bursary are required to have their Social Insurance Number registered on the college system for income tax purposes. If you do not have your SIN registered with the college when you submit your application, an email notification will be sent to you with instructions.
How an Awarded Bursary is Paid Out
If you are in a graduating level or are a sponsored student, you will receive a cheque by mail for the remaining balance of the bursary. Please review your address on your ACSIS account.
Narrow Down Your College List
Its a good idea to apply to several schools that youre interested in usually around five to eight so youll have a better chance of getting accepted into at least one college. Make sure to include some:
- Top schools: Universities you dream of attending, regardless of their acceptance criteria
- Stretch schools: Universities that might not accept you
- Safe schools: Universities where you easily meet the criteria
Also keep in mind that most schools charge application fees, which range in cost depending on the school. For example, some application fees range from $35 to $90. Be sure to carefully consider where youd like to apply so you can save money on application fees.
Learn More: 11 Questions to Ask on Your College Tour
Your College Planning Timeline For Early Deadlines
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither should your application be. You need to take time filling out your application, thoughtfully writing about your extracurricular involvement, and proofreading all of the information for errors. Apart from filling out your app, you’ll have to take time fulfilling other requirements. Three that demand the most planning and time are your personal essay, recommendation letters, and SAT or ACT scores.
You should spend a few months thinking about and writing your personal essay. Giving yourself space to brainstorm and mull over ideas is an important part of the writing process that can take weeks. Since your essay is such an important part of your application, you should spend a couple of months drafting, getting feedback, and revising it until it feels precise and authentic, almost like a work of art.
To meet an early deadline, you might begin working on your essay over the summer before senior year. While it’s rare that the Common App changes its essay prompts, they have done so in the past. Common App announced these changes in August. Most recently, Common App made changes to its essay prompts in February 2021 you can learn all about those changes here. Keep this in mind when working on your essay, but don’t worry about drastic changes in the questions. Generally speaking, they all ask you to communicate something important about your identity and show how you make meaning of significant experiences in your life.
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When Do You Apply If You’re Not A High School Senior
There are other timelines for applying to college besides the typical one that culminates in senior year. Maybe you want to work for a year or two before entering college. Maybe you have the opportunity to volunteer abroad or travel the world. Perhaps you graduated years ago and are now thinking about going back to school for your degree.
In these cases, you’ll still apply to meet the same early or regular deadlines or rolling admissions time frame. However, you might need to leave yourself extra time to collect all your application materials. Let’s consider each of the above situations individually.
Creating The Rest Of Your Application
Once you turn your attention to the rest of you application, youll need to do a few more things on the Common App itself.
First, create a Common App Account and fill out your info. And while we could have created a guide for this, our friends at CollegeWise have already put together this one.
Second, create an activities list that highlights the projects youve worked on, clubs youve been a part of , jobs youve worked, etc. Heres our guide to writing a Great Activities List.
Finally, make the most of the 650-word Additional Information Section. This part is often misused or skipped over entirely, but provides some great opportunities for you to share more about yourself. Heres our guide for the Common App Additional Information Section.
And thats it! Pretty much a step-by-step guide on how to apply to college. It may feel like a lot but remember to take each part of the process as it comes and to enjoy yourself along the way. Dont be afraid to take deep breaths when you need them. Theres no harm in taking time for yourself if youre feeling overwhelmed. We believe in you. You got this.
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Student Loan Rates Are Rising
Apply for a private student loan and lock in your rate before rates get any higher.
Its important to understand student loan requirements and limits for all loan types. For example, there are limits on the amount you can borrow, as this chart shows:
|Dependent Undergraduate Student||Dependent Undergraduate Student with a Parent PLUS Loan Denial||Independent Undergraduate Student||Graduate or Professional Degree Student|
|First Year||$5,500. A maximum of $3,500 may be subsidized.||$9,500. A maximum of $3,500 may be subsidized.||$9,500. A maximum of $3,500 may be subsidized.||$20,500|
|$6,500. A maximum of $4,500 may be subsidized.||$10,500. A maximum of $4,500 may be subsidized.||$10,500. A maximum of $4,500 may be subsidized.||$20,500|
|Third, Fourth and Fifth Years||$7,500. A maximum of $5,500 may be subsidized.||$12,500. A maximum of $5,500 may be subsidized.||$12,500. A maximum of $5,500 may be subsidized.||$20,500|
|$31,000. A maximum of $23,000 may be subsidized.||$57,500. A maximum of $23,000 may be subsidized.||$57,500. A maximum of $23,000 may be subsidized.||$138,500. The graduate debt limit includes direct loans received for undergraduate study.|
Register And Take Admission Tests
Most universities and colleges will require you to take admissions tests as part of your application, such as the SAT or ACT or English language tests like IELTS or TOEFL. Your score will play a large role in determining whether you are accepted into a US university. Keep in mind that every institution, as well as specific programs within those institutions, will have different score requirements.
Some community colleges and language programs do not require admission test scores to apply. If your scores are low, maybe you need to attend an intensive English language program, or attend a community college and then transfer to a university. Be open-minded!
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What Do I Need To Know About The College Application Essay
As part of the application process, most colleges require students to submit at least one writing sample: the college essay. This is sometimes referred to as a personal statement.
Theres usually a word limit of around several hundred words for a personal statement. The main essay on the Common App should be around 650 words.
Regardless of which application platform they use, students will usually have multiple essay prompts from which to choose.https://b65dc929e0ceae67c81ed2fb4639472f.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
The application essay prompts are broad and open-ended, and I think thats sometimes what challenges students the most, says Niki Barron, associate dean of admission at Hamilton College in New York. But theyre open-ended for a reason, and thats because we do really want to see what students choose to write about, what students feel is important.
Experts say students should try to tell a story about themselves in the essay, which doesnt necessarily mean writing about a big, impressive accomplishment.
Barron says the most memorable essays for her focus on more ordinary topics. But theyre done in such a self-reflective way that it gives me so much insight into who a student is as a person and gives me such a sense of the students voice, she adds.
Meet The Application Requirements
After you have decided on what UK college and program you want to study, you must now see what are the requirements to apply for a place at that college. To do this, you must visit their website and check their application requirements section.
Knowing that UK college application requirements change largely between universities and courses it is highly recommended you do multiple checks and take notes if needed. Also, you must pay attention to the details because at this point of your application everything counts even the least important document.
Timing is also important at this stage due to the fact that the completion of the required documents can take time and there may be unexpected delays until theyre issued to you. For example, preparing and undertaking a language proficiency course takes at least 2 months, meanwhile, you have to complete the rest of your application during the same time.
Consequently, you may lose the upcoming deadline and even worse, you can submit an application, but getting rejected for missing documents. Start to prepare well in time, at least three months before the university open calls for available places.
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Learn About Your Financing Options
After youve researched colleges and filled out your applications, the next step is to compare the financial aid award letters you receive from all the schools that accept you.
Your financial aid package might contain a mix of the following options:
- Grants:College grants are usually awarded based on financial need. Theyre a form of gift aid and dont need to be repaid.
- Scholarships: College scholarships are typically based on merit or your background. Like grants, you dont have to repay scholarship money.
- Federal student loans: These loans are issued by the U.S. Department of Education. Undergraduate students might qualify for low-interest subsidized or unsubsidized loans, while parents and graduate students have the option of applying for PLUS loans.
- Private student loans: If your financial aid package isnt enough to cover the full cost of your selected school, private student loans could be a useful supplement to pay for college or graduate school. Offered by private lenders, you can usually borrow up to the total cost of attendance. Be sure to consider as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for you. You can do this easily with Credible youll be able to compare multiple lenders after filling out just a single form instead of multiple applications.
The companies in the table below are Credibles approved partner lenders. Whether youre the borrower or cosigner, Credible makes it easy to compare rates from multiple private student loan providers.