Four million students will apply to college this year, and right now countless families are dealing with stress and conflict as they hurry to meet end-of-the-year college application deadlines.
Colleges are more selective than ever this year. GPA and test scores open the door, but they don't guarantee admission anymore.
As you navigate the college application process with your parents, here are five ways you can make it less stressful and more successful.
1. Start early
Don’t wait until you’re a senior in high school to start thinking about college. These days colleges are more competitive than ever, and students who start thinking about college early stand out compared to those that don’t.
2. Get involved
Getting involved in leadership programs and community service is very beneficial to your future. A stellar GPA and test scores are great, but that alone is not enough when colleges see that applicants are involved in leadership positions, community service programs, and other extracurricular activities that can give them a leg up.
3. Create a unique admission narrative
As you draft your college application essay, find a key story that demonstrates your unique talents, goals, and aspirations. In a sea of qualified applicants, a unique and powerful admission narrative is an important step.
4. Hire a professional college consultant
On average, for every 400 high school students, there is only one guidance counselor. If you’re not able to connect with yours, a college consultant may be able to help. College consultants are students who have recently gone through the college application process, and they have just a few students rather than hundreds, giving them the ability to work closely with you and answer your questions through this stressful process.
5. Find your X factor
What is going to differentiate you from the other four million college applicants out there? The “X factor” is a way for students to realize what strengths they have that make them unique and stand out. This includes using a unique résumé angle, having a strong essay strategy, mastering the interview process, getting great letters of recommendation, and applying for scholarship money.
Getting into college is a stressful process, and competition is fierce. The stress can sometimes tear relationships apart, with parents fighting and teenagers butting heads with their parents. It can become an unnecessary mess, but utilizing these tips can help you go from a super achiever to a superhuman being.
Get a head start on your college search right here on CollegeXpress.