Resolve to apply to colleges even if your test scores are lower than their published ranges (and are lower than what you hoped they'd be). What each school is showing for scores are averages - NOT a line drawn in the sand telling you, "If you are not at this percentage, don't even think about it." There always have been, and there always will be, admitted students who have scores at or below those given ranges. Keep in mind, these standardized test scores are only a piece of the application puzzle, and only a fraction of who you are.
Resolve to use the school's online application. Sure, that may seem like an obvious point to be made, but many schools are still offering the option to complete an application in hard copy paper form. Online apps are easier for you to complete as you can review, edit, and revise as need be, and in some cases you many even get a discount from a particular school for completing the online application because it is easier for them to process on their end. It's a 'win-win'!
Resolve to apply to between six to eight schools. The old admissions adage applies - look for a set of schools that are reaches (but you'd absolutely LOVE to go to), a group that are perfect fits for you (academically right in your 'sweet spot'), and a few that can be considered safety schools (your resume and grades get you in here no problem).
Resolve to 'recycle' on your applications. The time of college applications is meant to be an exciting time of wondering where you're headed next and pondering the future. While it is inevitable that you will be stressed from time to time (or all the time), limit that stress by using the same essays and statements on different applications. We call that 'recycling' and it's totally a great thing to do! You do not need to reinvent the wheel each and every time you begin a new application essay. Work on a terrific first essay, then use it's core and foundation for future essays only making changes as need be. Take your first essay, read each new writing prompt carefully, see the specific information the particular college is looking for, and go from there!
Resolve to leave nothing as 'optional'. Here at LAC, we ask that when an application asks for something that they deem is optional, that our clients read that as 'just do it'. While you certainly only need to submit what is required, going above and beyond adds to your level of demonstrated interest. If you're interested in the arts, but realize that you haven't really touched on that passion, use this as the opportunity to submit your portfolio or media file. Colleges have designed their applications so that they know each of their applicants best. Taking the inititive helps to put you head and shoulders above the others in the candidate pool.
With any college prep, admissions, or application questions, do not hesitate to contact us today! firstname.lastname@example.org
LAC - Founder/Director
Founder - The College Essay Captain, and featured guest blogger here for LAC. It's her mission to inspire people to tell empowering stories.