TOP 10 MUST-DOS TO GET INTO COLLEGE
Aug 3, 2016
If you listened to Episode 1 of The Road to College, you know that the big idea was to PLAN EARLY. College planning starts as early as the 9th grade or even middle school. Earlier this year, the Inland Empire Magazine asked us what are the big must-dos for any student to get into college. For those of you who missed out on the article, here’s what MeriEducation founder + head consultant had to say:
#1 Summer Enrichment – Many colleges after summer enrichment programs where students can be introduced to topics that are not typically taught in the classroom or get an accelerated start in their field of interest like law 📃 or medicine 🏥. These programs look great on apps, and students get a fun summer experience through which they’ll make lots of new friends!
#2 Stay Competitive + Balanced – Always make sure you’re taking the required courses to meet admissions requirements and maintain a competitive, yet manageable, course schedule. Don’t kill yourself with a full load of AP courses, but definitely challenge yourself! 💪
#3 Build Rapport – Build strong relationships with your teachers in order to receive strong letters of recommendations later on. Show your teachers some love! 😎
#4 Be a Leader – It’s better to list fewer activities with more leadership roles, which means while Suzy might be involved in all 20 clubs on campus, Kiki will have an edge by being the President of Key Club and/or the External Affairs Chair in student government.
#5 Start Test Prep Early – Sophomore year is the ideal time to start test prepping. You then have enough time to work towards getting your best score. We see a lot of incoming Seniors who are scrambling to get their SAT + ACT tests done in the middle of college applications, sports practices, and their classes. Trust us, it’s not fun.😪
#6 Don’t Forget About SAT Subject Tests – If you’re looking to get into a top tier school, you need to take a few SAT subject tests. The great thing about these tests is that you can choose a test that speaks to your academic strengths. Pick a subject you excel in, like European History or Spanish.
#7 Start Apps Early – We can’t stress this enough. Yes, with college apps too – START EARLY! ⏰ We start working with most of our students as soon as their Junior year is over, so they have all of their personal statements done over the summer. There is nothing more stressful than rushing to get your personal statement done in November.
#8 Get Creative with That Personal Statement – Write a personal statement that presents who you are as a person, not a robot. Show your character – your quirks, your passions, your journey – versus listing all the things you’ve done in school. Make sure to keep an eye out for Episode 2 of the Road to College, where we discuss this very crucial component of the college application. 👻
#9 Get More Eyeballs – 👀 3rd party perspectives on your personal statement are always valuable. Not only can they proofread, but they can also tell you if your story is unclear in any way, making sure you’re presenting the best you. However, be selective. Too many voices may muddy up the feedback, making your head spin, so decisively choose a panel of judges who you trust.
#10 The Best College Isn’t Always the Right College – Visit colleges in your sophomore year. ✈️ It’s important to get a feel for the campus and the personality of its students. Just because it’s one of “the best colleges” does not mean that it’s the best college for you. Many students have gone to prestigious Ivy League schools like Harvard and transferred midway when they realized they were unhappy. Whether it’s a campus with a lot of school spirit hours away from a major city or one with a very involved community of activists in the middle of a vibrant downtown cultural hub – make sure it’s right for who you are.