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If you have decided that the next part of your journey will be gaining further education at either a college or university, you will need to start applying about a year before your chosen academic year. This will depend on when your chosen colleges’ applications open, so it is good to keep an eye out for the dates they start accepting. Even if that date is a long way off, it is a good idea to start planning in advance. Life has a funny way of flying by, and you’ll be needing to submit your applications before you know it. Applying can be quite a nerve-wracking process – especially if you have taken a break from education or you’re the first in your family to apply. Your chosen colleges will, of course, outline their application requirements and what they need from you in order to consider you for a position. But it will usually include an application form, academic references and a personal supporting statement. This will either be followed by an invitation to an interview or audition, or the news that you have been unsuccessful. To help avoid the latter – here are some dos and don’ts of applying to college.

Do: Ask And Accept Help

This may seem obvious but seeking someone to help you with your application is essential. As humans, we have the tendency to deny we need help until it is offered – do not let this be you when applying to college. Even if it is just to grammar check and spell check your personal statement before it is sent off – having a fresh pair of eyes to look over your application will do wonders for your chances of receiving an interview. You can click here for college admissions counsellor specialists if you are looking for advice on a successful application to an ivy-league school, or alternatively research for a similar service local to you for invaluable guidance.

Don’t: Sell Yourself Short

Every college will receive thousands of applications, and potentially even thousands for your chosen course, so it is important that you do not sell yourself short. You need to make yourself stand out from everyone else, so be sure to include every achievement – whether that be academic or hobby related – as colleges prefer a well-rounded individual. You will also need to outline special skills and qualities that are desirable to your chosen college. If you are struggling, have a parent or teacher write what they believe to be your best achievements and skills down for you – they may surprise you with the outcome.

Do: Start Early And Draft

Being organised is extremely advantageous when it comes to applying to college. If you get your application in early, you will most likely be in their first round of interviews and auditions, meaning there are still plenty of spaces up for grabs. It also shows that you are eager to be considered by your chosen college, and show them that you are an organised and well put together potential student.

Don’t: Wait Until Deadline Day To Submit

To explain this one simply: if you are extremely stressed finishing off and submitting your application you are more likely to make a mistake that could cost you an interview.

Do: Visit And Apply To As Many Colleges As Possible

Though you may have your heart set on one, it is best to see as many college campuses as possible and apply to all the ones you like. Due to the competitive nature of applications, it gives you a higher chance of securing a place at some of your options, and even if you don’t get into your first choice, you will have visited your other options in order to make an informed final decision.

Hopefully, this has helped you to think about how best to organise yourself for your application process to college, and best of luck if you are applying this year. Remember to give yourself time to relax after everything is submitted, you’ve done the best you can.


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