Save Time and Money
Reading through college application tips before you begin the process of searching for schools can help you save great amounts of time as well as money. Although the application process is usually straightforward enough, the potential always exists to streamline the steps and make them less stressful than they might otherwise turn out to be.
Doing things ahead of time can make all the difference in the college application process. Some selective schools look more carefully at early-decision applicants, for example, than students who are in the regular applicant pool. Finishing your materials ahead of deadlines can make life a lot easier, especially if you have a long list of applications to fill out. The stress of converging deadlines can make your work suffer, so do yourself a favor and complete application work whenever you have time, even if it's not due for weeks or months.
As you might already know if you've leafed through application materials, many have multiple portions. Schools are often very strict about applicants' submissions, and if you miss even one tiny part of an application, you could be out of consideration altogether. Even though it takes extra time, be thorough and make sure you have everything together before you send in your applications.
Keeping track of all your submission materials can be tricky, but it's one of the most important college application tips. Even if you're normally quite neat, there are sometimes just too many pieces of paper or too many documents to remember. Yes, being organized takes effort, but it's worth it and saves time in the end. Consider making a spreadsheet of the schools to which you're applying, complete with application statuses, deadline dates, and information you still need to collect.
Consider Long-Term Finances
When you apply to schools, keep finances in mind. Plenty of prospective college students have difficulty grasping the concept of how important scholarship, financial aid, and loan money can be, but think of it this way: if you graduate with a lot of student loan debt, you'll likely be paying it out in hundreds of dollars each month after you earn your degree. You can take measures now to control your debt: apply for scholarships that are available to you, talk with financial aid representatives about how to earn potential funds, and always fill out the FAFSA.
Think About Future Plans
You can also give yourself a leg up when you apply for colleges by considering your future plans. If you don't know what subject you want to study, try to apply to institutions with solid all-around reputations so that you'll have plenty of post-graduate opportunities no matter what you choose.
You may not realize it now, but your quirky qualities may be what admissions representatives will prize most in you. When you're filling out applications that call for some creativity or personality, put it forward! Especially in your essays, don't hesitate to express a unique point of view or unconventional perspective. It will make you stand out from other applicants and can distinguish you in a positive way. Show off what you feel are your most unique attributes, and others will take notice.
The Best College Application Tips
Although the previous tips may seem intuitive or simplified, the reason they're so basic is because they've proven to work time and time again. For more tips, visit your school's career center, speak with college admissions representative, page through application reference materials, or search college databases online.