When we asked college and university admission experts for their top admission tips, we got tons of helpful responses; you’ll find them all here. But one admission VIP, Amy Smith, from Georgia Southern University, went above and beyond! She sent a whole list of advice for students. Here you’ll find all of those college admission tips from her and her staff at GSU. Read it and heed it, CollegeXpressers.
I worked with six of our veteran admission counselors to develop our top advice for students going through the college search process. We hope they are helpful to you and your family as you navigate this stressful and confusing time!
- First things first: admission deadlines really do matter. (Take them seriously!)
- If you're undecided about your major, it’s okay! High school seniors feel so much pressure to have a major picked out by the time they get to college, but there is actually no rush. It is better to be undecided for a year and get some classes under your belt than to jump into something that may not be for you. Explore your major options using your college classes to make sure you choose a degree you'll enjoy.
- If you think you want to go to a big university or college, think about what that might mean in reality and compare it to where you are now. Also, don't discount "medium-sized” schools. A medium-sized school may be plenty big enough!
- Do things yourself. Don't have your parents call and ask all of the questions or be the only one speaking at a college fair. You should be the one speaking up to the college representatives and asking your questions. And above all else, you need to fill out your own admission applications. (But you can still ask your parents for input or help if you need it!)
- Visit campus!!!! Looking at marketing materials like brochures, a college may seem like exactly what you want. But there is nothing like the gut feeling you get from visiting the campus and seeing the surrounding area in person. It’s also the time to talk to students on the campus to find out their experiences and what they really think of the college.
- Proofread everything you send to admission—even your e-mails. It makes us feel especially bad when you send us an e-mail requesting information or acceptance to another university…
- Get to know your admission counselors! The college admission staff helping you through your application are there because they want to help you. It is much better to ask too many questions—so you know how to complete your application correctly and in a timely manner—than to not ask questions and miss out on opportunities available.
- Keep your college options open—and research them vigorously. We've all grown up fans of one major university or another, where applying (and getting in, of course) has always been a foregone conclusion. However, you should begin your college search process with an open mind. Research schools based on location. Research schools based on different majors. Research schools based on campus life offerings. Whatever aspect of college is important to you, look for schools that offer it—and give any schools that come up in your search results a fair chance. There's a world of opportunities and schools beyond those you've grown up around, and you'd do yourself a major disservice by not looking into them. You may be leaving your comfort zone a little bit, but it will be well worth it in the end.
- Be professional in your admission process. Your e-mails, phone calls, essays, and applications may be the only "you" admission staff get to know during your senior year. Make sure those are all written and conducted in a way that represents you well. We know you're still in high school, but this is a great time to show off how great an asset you would be to their college's community. Speak clearly, use your manners, use proper grammar, and be yourself. Make the admission staff want to get to know you better!
- Finally, yes, the college admission process can be intimidating and stressful. Breathe and take it one step at a time.