Your College Planning Timeline For Regular Deadlines
In many ways, your college planning timeline for regular decision will be similar to the timeline for applying for early admission–but with some key differences. You have to consider how busy the fall of senior year is, both for you and for your teachers and counselors.
If your senior year schedule is packed with challenging courses and after school involvements, then you still might want to work on your essay over the summer months, when you have more time and focus for it. You also might still ask for your recommendations in September, or at least October. Some teachers set a cap on how many letters they’ll write, and they probably don’t want to spend their entire winter holiday writing letters. Try to ask early in the fall semester.
When you apply for regular decision, you might have one more opportunity to take the SAT or ACT in December. It’s still advisable to take it at least once in junior year, and many students take it twicein the fall of 11th grade and again in the spring. Again, you want to think about your schedule in the fall and how to best balance putting together a strong college application with all your other assignments, clubs, and/or sports.
Finally, some schools don’t have set deadlines at all and are flexible about when applications arrive. This option is called rolling admissions.
The 7 Things That Really Look Good On A College Application
What looks good on a college application? It’s the question nearly every high school student will ask at some point while applying to college. But is there a clear answer?
Fortunately, the answer is yes! Read on to learn what colleges look for in applicants, what looks really good on a college application, and what kinds of myths there are about good things to put on a college application.
Create Your Own College Rankings System
Forget about the national best colleges lists for a minute. Instead, create your own college rankings to determine which schools best meet your unique criteria, whether its majors, extracurricular activities, research opportunities, Greek lifeanything. You can even assign points to these criteria and tally them up for each school. Pro tip: your college search spreadsheet can really come in handy here.
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Five: Know That There Are Alternative Routes
If it feels like its too late for you to get your college profile in order, or you feel like you’re not ready to apply yet, dont despair. There are a variety of options for students of all ages to earn an associates or bachelors degree.
Some of these include: a gap year, a community college with a transfer program, online classes, or extension courses at your local colleges. In general, you will find that most colleges are very welcoming to transfer students and older applicants. Some colleges even have discounted courses for high school students!
Whenever you start your college planning, rememberresearch is key. The more you know, the smarter decisions youll make.
And, if you think youre running late on college planning, just remember Nola Ochs – who earned her degree from Fort Hays State University at 95 years old. Along with a bachelors degree, she received a standing ovation!
When To Start When You Are Ready
Like so much of the college search process, when to start is more rooted in the individual than in any formula or age old wisdom. Exposure to college can begin at any agea quick side trip or a campus drive through on a family vacation can offer a nice little preview but if the prospective student is not really ready, the effort will be for naught. I will never forget my familys own vacation detour through the University of Virginia the summer before my oldest daughter was starting high school. As we came around a corner and the lawn and chapel came into view, my daughter exclaimed, Mom, look. I was thrilled, figuring that like so many before her she was instantly captivated by one of the most beautiful campuses there is, but when her next comment was look at those beautiful bridesmaids dresses, I realized we were a bit premature in our efforts, and so be it. Now as a senior she is fully engaged in the process and has already submitted multiple applications to schools on a list that was thoughtfully developed. Ultimately, like so much of the process it is all about find the right individual fit.
PresidentIVY Counselors Network
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Will I Have To Reapply Each Year Such As Required For Fafsa
Scholarships generally come in three varieties: one-time, renewable, or renewable with stipulations. One-time awards are granted only once, while renewable scholarships are granted each year. Some are dispensed automatically each year after the initialaward but most renewable awards call for the recipient to reapply or provide transcripts and progress reports to ensure they are still meeting the guidelines set by the scholarship committee. If you were awarded for your stellar grades or athletic achievement, a low GPA or nonparticipation on a university team could discontinue your award so check with yourscholarship provider to determine what is required for continued funding.
Career Services And Other Campus Support
For many students, college success means tutoring. Others might need counseling for dealing with homesickness or other emotional issues. And most college students need at least some guidance as they conduct their first internship and job searches.
Thats why colleges and universities have ample resources to support you throughout your time on campusand often long after you graduate.
Questions to ask:
- How will the school help me determine and achieve my career goals?
- What is their postgraduate job placement rate like ?
- What does the career services office offer?
- What kinds of experiential education opportunities, such as internships, co-ops, and volunteering, exist on and around campus?
- What academic services are available, such as tutoring?
- What health and wellness services are available, such as mental health counseling and fitness facilities?
- Are any of these services available after graduation?
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Takeaways: What Looks Good On A College Application
Applying to college is tough, and knowing what to put on your applications to make yourself stand out is even tougher. What looks really good on a college application?
Generally speaking, colleges want to see your passion, intellectual curiosity, willingness to challenge yourself, and academic accomplishments.
More specifically, though, colleges typically prefer applicants who have most or all of the following characteristics:
- Good grades and a challenging course load
- Strong test scores
- Honest, specific, and eloquent essays
- A spike in your extracurricular activities
- Compelling letters of recommendation
- Volunteer experience with clear impact on the groups or places you’ve helped
- Any relevant or impactful work experience
Finally, as you apply to college and try to think of good things to put on a college application, make sure you’re aware of the following truths about the application process:
- It’s better to have a spike than to be well rounded
- Essays are important!
- A B in a hard course is more impressive than an A in an easy course
- You can still get into your dream school even if your application isn’t perfect
Sincere Specific And Well
The personal statement is an important part of your college application as it’s one of the only areas where you can really showcase your personality.
According to the 2019 NACAC survey, 56% of schools consider application essays moderately or considerably important. While some colleges don’t require essays, those that do usually place at least moderate importance on them.
So how can you ensure your essay will impress the admissions committee? Generally, colleges are looking for three main qualities in a personal essay:
- Honesty: What you write about should have actually happened to you and should be how you actually feel. Exaggerating details and outright lying are big no-noes here!
- Specificity: Using concrete details to effectively convey your thoughts, view, and experiences will make your essay a lot more memorable, personable, andmost importantlyunique.
- Eloquence: Don’t expect to get accepted anywhere if your essay is poorly written and full of grammar and spelling errors. A great personal statement has a sensible organization, tells a compelling story, and is completely free of technical errors.
Below are some steps you can take to guarantee that your essay will have all three qualities.
Step 1: Brainstorm Significant Moments From Your Life
What you write about for your college essay will vary depending on the prompt you’re given from your school or the prompt you choose .
In general, you’ll want to pick a topic that meets the following criteria:
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Should I Prioritize Any Applications Over Others
Each college application you fill out deserves your time and attention equally, even if some schools are your backups or safety schools. Given the unpredictability of the college admissions process, you shouldnt risk your admissions chances by submitting an application that you havent given enough time and attention.
With that said, the more colleges you apply to, the more difficult you may find it to work on each of them at the same time. Thus, it may be worth your time to space out when you work on each set of applications.
For example, if youre applying to any school as an Early Decision or Early Action applicant, your application deadline is likely much sooner than most of your other deadlines. Therefore, you should make sure you prioritize that application first and make sure that it is one of the first applications that gets finalized.
After that, you can take a look at your application deadlines and try to spread out your time, focusing on the applications that are due the soonest first. For example, if youre applying to UC Berkeley and UT Austin , you can start work on the Berkeley application first and reserve time in the month after you submit your UC Berkeley application for UT Austin.
College Recruiting Timeline For Sophomores
By sophomore year of high school, recruits should be spending a few hours a week on their recruiting. This includes taking time to build out their recruiting profiles, create a target list of 30-40 schools theyre interested in, finalize and start sharing their recruiting videos and get comfortable with reaching out to college coaches on a regular basis.
Sophomore athletes who are serious about landing a roster spot should also complete recruiting questionnaires for schools theyre interested in and write strong, personalized emails to college coaches to showcase not only their athletic and academic skills, but also that theyve done their research and are interested in learning more about the program to see if its the right fit for them.
In the video below, former D1 and D3 college coach Danny Koenig shares his tips for what student-athletes should be doing during their sophomore yearand how some college coaches are looking ahead and adding current high school sophomores to their list of prospective recruits.
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Understand The True Cost Of College
Many students pay out of pocket for things like extracurricular activities and clubs, study abroad programs, and car insurance. Altogether, these expenses make researching and applying for financial aid a necessity for most degree-seekers.
Source: College Board
You should also consider ways you can save money in college. Depending on the school you attend, you may find that living off campus and buying groceries costs less than living in a dorm and purchasing a meal plan.
Another cost-saving option is to opt for an online degree. Online programs often charge lower tuition rates than campus-based programs and may exempt students from certain fees.
Finally, students may choose to appeal their financial aid packages to try to get more money if the awards they receive aren’t enough to cover the cost of college.
What Colleges Are Looking For In A Successful Applicant
Are you ready to find your fit?
Applying to college can be an overwhelming process, especially if youre trying to get into schools where competition is stiff. There are several common factors that most colleges consider when looking at potential applicants however, the key to acceptance isnt just doing well. You want to show admissions officers what makes you stand out from the crowd.
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Consider Your Interests And Goals
You may or may not have some idea of what you want to major in. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What fields am I most interested in, and what am I good at?
- What are my academic and professional goals?
- What career path do I wish to pursue?
- Will I need to earn money while in school?
- Could an alternative to a traditional four-year university, such as an online college or community college, work for me and my goals?
It’s important to start this process of self-reflection sooner rather than later. You can turn to trusted adults for advice when necessary.
Starting to think about college early gives you two main advantages. First, you have time to change your mind and adjust your plans accordingly. Second, you can select high school courses and extracurricular activities that help make you a more competitive applicant for your target colleges.
When Should You Start The Recruiting Process
As mentioned previously, different sports and different division levels recruit the majority of their athletes in different periods. Top D1 prospects for womens gymnastics or womens volleyball will likely receive recruiting interest freshman year of high school or even earlier. Track and field athletes and swimmers will mostly be recruited closer to senior year. The important thing to know about starting the process is that the earlier you plan, the better prepared you will be to get recruited for college sports. Athletes can build their target list, research schools, attend camps, edit their recruiting video and use NCSA to get noticed before having contact with a college coach. In college recruiting, it is better to be ahead of the pack in order to receive recruiting interest while a coach still has open roster spots. Its never too early to start.
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Lock In Your Safety Reach And Match Schools
Its important to look at your academic record and abilities and focus on colleges that match them. Before you invest time and money in applying to any colleges, compare the average admitted students credentials to your own. That will help you figure out if youll almost certainly be admitted , if youll probably be admitted , or if you may not be admitted . You should also consider the cost of tuition, percentage of the student body receiving financial aid, and average amount of aid this information will help you and your family rank the school for its financial feasibility too.
However…heres the most important thing about choosing your safety, reach, and match colleges: make sure they’re all schools youd be happy to attend. Truly, legitimately, genuinely happy. Dont treat your safety schools as throwaways, and dont make your reaches the three most selective schools youve ever heard of. Keeping an open mind is often the secret to success in collegeand that “safety” school might be your dream school after all.
Current High School Students
Early College Access ProgramIf youre an Anne Arundel County high school student and at least 16 years old, you can get a head start on basic college course requirements by enrolling in the Early College Access Program . AACPS students applying to ECAP:
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In The Spring Take The Sat And/or Act
Keep track of SAT registration deadlines and test dates . While not essential, it’s a good idea to take the SAT or ACT in your junior year. If you don’t get good scores, you can spend some time in the summer building your skills before retaking the exam in the fall. Colleges consider only your highest scores.
Even if you are applying to one of the many test-optional colleges, doing well on the SAT can prove valuable for scholarships and class placement.
College Coaches Gather A List Of Prospective Athletes Who Meet Basic Requirements
To start out, coaches need to gather a large group of recruits. They will identify recruits who meet basic criteria like height, weight, position, grad year, academics, location and more. To do so, college coaches will use the following tools and methods:
- Recruiting media sites like Rivals.com or 247Sports
- Third-party recruiting services like NCSA
- Recommendations from high school or club coaches
- Emails and messages from recruits
- Camps and showcases where they can see many potential recruits in one place
At this point in the college recruiting process, around 800 athletes may make it through the initial evaluation process at smaller programs, while nearly 8,000 prospects may make it to the next step at larger programs.
What this means for you: As a recruit, you need to look at the college recruiting process like a funnel, too. Start out with a list of programs that would be a good athletic, academic, financial and social fit for you, and then pare that list down based on your preferences and the interest of college coaches.
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