By: Jake Nathan
With the 2017-2018 school year coming to a close and with senior year right around the corner, many High School East juniors find themselves beginning the introductory steps to the college admissions process. As the year progresses, more and more students take interest in certain schools, which is just the first part of this long and important process.
Planning for college can be one of the most exciting yet stressful times in a high school student’s life because there’s a lot that still has to happen before students are able to move into their dorms. This process begins for most students when they start taking their ACTs or SATs. Although it seems complicated at first, there is a school out there for everyone. High School East offers a variety of resources from which students can gain insight into potential colleges in which they may be interested. During the early months of the school year, college representatives from a variety of schools come to High School East to give students brief lectures about what programs and opportunities their university have to offer. These lectures allow students to gain insight and background knowledge into what attending that university might be like, which is why it’s important to find out when representatives from your schools of interest will be here. There’s also the option of attending college fairs, where a variety of college representatives gather to answer questions about their respective universities. College fairs occur all throughout the year, and as we approach the spring months, you will be able to find many throughout the local community as well.
After you’ve heard what a number of different colleges have to offer and have some insight into which universities you may be interested in, you should create a general list of schools that to which you could potentially be applying. It is important to have a variety of schools on this list, including a few safety schools (places where you feel that your chances of acceptance are high), a few target schools (places where your chances of being accepted are close to 50%), and one or two reach schools (schools where you’re not certain you meet their qualifications, however still stand a chance of being admitted). After identifying your potential list of colleges, try and learn as much about these schools as possible, thus allowing you to gain a better idea of schools that you find yourself most interested in. This may include subscribing to their email list, planning a visit to tour the school, or even speaking to friends who may already attend the university. While looking into schools, some of the important things to take notice of are school size, degrees offered, and the social and extracurricular scene. Taking notice of these pointers will ultimately allow you to better conclude whether or not you can see yourself attending a certain college for the next four or more years of your life.
After you have finished your background research and visits, you should have a more defined list of schools, and you will be ready to start the applying phase of the process. This phase is the final step; it includes building and putting together your resume, as well as writing your college essays and supplements. It is important to note that not all schools have the same number of required essays to write or even the same essay questions, so make sure you look into the specific requirements for each school on your list. So, good luck to the Class of 2019 as they begin their journey down the path of the college admissions process!