Applying to colleges is a scary process that many students can feel overwhelmed by. However, it’s important to make your application stand out! You don’t have to be a perfect 4.0 student, or a student who’s discovered the cure to coronavirus! Colleges aren’t looking for a student who’s only invested time in one sector of their life. Make your application well-rounded by following some of these tips and improving your experience in these areas!
1. Academics: To show colleges you’re serious about your education, make sure you’re taking advantage of all the courses available to you. Don’t just take classes that will get you an easy A; branch out and take honors classes and Advanced Placement classes. Colleges like to see that you’re willing to put in extra work to push yourself to do more. A B+ in Honors English will mean more than an A in English.
2. Extracurriculars: Join extracurriculars you’re passionate about! Don’t wait until your senior year to join a club. Start looking early and build your experience in the club. Colleges like seeing consistency. Staying in the same club for all four years and becoming a board officer shows dedication. It means more than just joining 5 different clubs every year. If there are no clubs you’re interested in, start your own! Take initiative and create a new environment at your school.
3. College essays: If you’re a current senior reading this blog post, DON’T PROCRASTINATE ON WRITING YOUR ESSAYS! Essays are the one part of your application you have full control over. Take time to go through all the prompts and find out which one suits you best. Don’t rush the process! It might be frustrating when you’re first starting off, but the outcome will be worth it. If you’re looking for more advice, check out the other blogs about personal statement essays, or consider booking an appointment with one of our consultants!
4. Accomplishments: Colleges often look for students who go above and beyond in what they do. Take part in cup stacking competitions, sport championships, etc. By demonstrating that you try your very best, whether it be in terms of academics or outside activities, colleges will see the determination you have. You don’t have to be #1 all the time, but being able to show that you took part in different competitions means something.
5. Recommendations: Build a relationship with your teachers and counselors! While not all schools ask for a recommendation letter, it’s important to have people you can refer to. Being able to ask a teacher or advisor who has become a close mentor is extremely important. A detailed, positive recommendation could be a deciding factor in your application.
Nina is a Consultant on the Study Hall College Consulting Team. Nina is currently a sophomore at UC Berkeley majoring in Chemical Biology. For more college application and essay tips, check out our Study Hall College Consulting website at: shcollegeconsulting.com.