- Do create a list. After doing some research, create a list of six colleges you will apply to, based on whether they’re a good “fit” for your goals and your family’s finances. Thinking about your test scores and personal profile, include a few “safety” schools and one “reach” school.
- Don’t miss a deadline. Review the requirements and deadlines for each college on your list, as well as scholarship and FAFSA deadlines, then put them on your calendar or smartphone. You can find Indiana college application deadlines at LearnMoreIndiana.org/college.
- Do apply as early as possible. The earlier you get started, the more stress free the process will be. Prioritize each application by due date. Remember, some online applications go “live” as early as the first week of August of your senior year.
- Don’t forget to make time for the “extras.” Some colleges require an essay, or recommendations, especially if you want admission into a special program. If your college application requires an essay, schedule time to write one. Explain to the admissions staff why you’d be a great member of the freshman class. Ask someone to proofread your essay before you send it, and check your application for accuracy. Select the teachers or other individuals that you would like to write recommendations for you. Make sure to give them plenty of advance notice, as well as the application deadline. It might be helpful to give them a copy of your resume, or at least a list of activities.
- Do ask for help. Plenty of people have been through this process before and are there to help you. Teachers, college guidance counselors, college financial aid staff and parents are good resources.
Clean Up Your Act
While Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are important tools that can help you get into college or find a job, they can also cause a lot of trouble, as countless headlines about clueless high school and college students can tell you.
Admissions offices and companies often review applicants’ social media sites before deciding whether to accept or hire someone, so clean up any digital “dirt.” Look over your profile, check your photos, and Google yourself to see if anything that could be considered inappropriate can be found. It pays to be polite, polished, professional, and positive, in person and online.