Did you have a college in mind and want to increase your chances of acceptance? Check out these six tips for getting into college
You think you found your perfect school. It has the best student scene for you, great programs in your major and a great location. And you just have to get in. But how? Here are six secret tips for getting into your dream school.
Double check your dream
Before you go all out to get into a school, be absolutely sure it’s the right one for you.
“The problem with ‘dream schools’ is not that they are obtainable only in a dream, but that too often, students dream of them for the wrong reasons,” says DJ Capobianco, a sophomore communications and business administration major at Boston University. “It is far too easy to choose a dream school based on the values and priorities of others. The real secret tip for getting into your dream school is picking one that you would actually be happy at.”
Hilary Goetz knew that Cornell University was right for her when she saw it. But it took a little bit of research to realize that she wanted to focus on the School of Human Ecology.
“I’m a policy analysis and management major, which is a much more minute major and changed the way my application worked,” she says.
Write a touching essay
You have the application in your hands (that is, if you’re going the old-school paper route). Rather than quaking at it, see it as your opportunity to shine.
Capobianco says the essay is the most crucial part.
“Students need to, very cautiously and carefully, tell their dream schools how they feel. The caution is absolutely necessary: No college wants to be overly drooled upon. Instead, extend admissions counselors the luxury of reading an application that is specially crafted for them. Write an essay that discusses the difference you will make on their campus.”
Ask for letters of recommendation from alums
Did your stepsister go to your dream school? Ask her for a letter of recommendation! Did your friend’s highly successful dad go to your first choice? Ask him for a letter of recommendation, too!
Wow your interviewer
Show that you care about the school, that you’ve done research about the student body, and if it’s an alumni interview, that you’ve maybe done a little research on your interviewer and what the school has done for him or her.
Try to have all of your admissions documents in before Thanksgiving (yes, the deadlines are later, but you want to beat the crowd). Then, around January or February, send the admissions offices an update on what you’ve been doing, such as if you’ve started a new leadership position in a club, or if you’ve received any awards since you sent in your application.
Have a backup dream
If you don’t get into your dream school, the world isn’t over. A lot of college students admit that the school they liked best was simply the last college they visited, or was because they admired an alumni, or another not-so-genuine reason.
If you were accepted to some of your “reach” or “good fit” schools, visit them and see if you could fall in love. Go to a school where the admissions office was wowed by your accomplishments and sees you as someone who could be a campus leader.
I got into my dream school!Name:
Doris Nell BynumHometown:
Here is my story on getting accepted into the college I wanted!
I have always wanted to go to a private school that was also religion based. When I went for a preview day at Mississippi College, I absolutely adored the campus and felt so welcome. A few weeks after the preview day, I applied. It was the only one I applied for.
The first way I found out that I had been accepted was by an e-mail sent from the admissions office. In late February/early March, they sent me a formal “you have been accepted” sheet via mail. They said that a seat for the Fall 2007 semester was reserved for ME!
Your dream school doesn’t have to be Harvard
Too many equate a “dream school” with Harvard, Yale and Princeton. But your “best fit” school doesn’t have to be an Ivy.
In fact, Alexandra Robbins, author of The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids, argues in her book that schools with lesser reputations can offer just as good educations and just as quality of a social life as an Ivy League school.
“Accept that name does not reflect ability,” Robbins advises. Listen to this anecdote: “In one survey, respondents listed Princeton as one of the country’s top 10 law schools. The problem? Princeton doesn’t have a law school.”
This article is provided by The Next Step Magazine (nextSTEPmag.com), a publication that helps students prepare for life after high school.