Tips for Navigating the College Admissions Maze
Each year, more than a million students across the country go through college planning. Many students and their families find the college search enjoyable and easy to manage. Many do not. In fact, finding and seeking admission to colleges that meet individual needs, interests, and abilities can be a maze filled with missteps and pitfalls for some. But information is power; therefore, making sure that you are informed is the key to handling the college planning process successfully.
In the interest of making the college planning process as stress-free and rewarding for you as possible, we offer the following tips and advice:
- Know yourself and your needs, interests, and abilities, realistically.
- Understand the basic language of college admissions.
- Discover what types of colleges are available as post-secondary options.
- Learn the basic criteria for admission to college.
- Understand the various types of college entrance exams and what they measure.
- Understand the concept of "selectivity" as it relates to acceptance to college.
- Understand what it means to find colleges that are a "good match" for you.
- Get an overview of the entire college admissions process and how admissions committees make the decision to admit or deny students.
- Understand the financial aid process.
At this point, the idea of learning all of that may seem overwhelming, in itself. However, through our FREE College Planning Services here at My College Options.org, you will have access to information about all of the above.
Our monthly online newsletter contains articles—geared to answer your questions at each grade level—as well as our monthly “to-do” lists that will help to keep you on track as you navigate the college search, admission, and selection phases of the planning process. You will also be able to find answers to your individual questions and interact with college counselors who are available to assist you along the way.
To get you started, here are some general tips for successful navigation as you move through the college planning maze:
- Make an early connection with your advisor or counselor to help you set goals and priorities throughout your high school years.
- Give priority to your academic performance, choosing courses wisely and challenging yourself along the way.
- Get involved in school and community activities that will help you discover and develop your interests, talents, and skills.
- Use your college planning calendar to help you stay organized and on schedule in preparing for college admission.
- Maintain a relationship with your counselor throughout high school.
- Take full advantage of the services provided at www.mycollegeoptions.org.