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The College Application Process

The college application process is the most important step in your career in higher education. With numerous universities and colleges across the country having varied parameters for admission, the process involves extensive research and should start as early as a year before the academic year in which you are seeking admission. Since you cannot bank on only one college, you need a few fall-back options too. Visit all the college websites and document the specific needs of every college. Do not wait till you hear from the college top-most in your wish list, and then apply to other colleges. Apply to all colleges at the same time; you certainly do not want to miss out on any opportunity just because you were too late. Also read Requirements for Online Schoolsif you plan on applying to an online college to earn your degree.

Do you know the Admission Requirements of your College?
The National Association for College Admission Counseling has specific rules, which are followed by almost all colleges and universities. However, with more than 4,000 institutes providing higher education, the admission requirements vary across the country. While some colleges will ask for your SAT score, others would need the ACT grades. Since high scores in these exams are essential, prepare and sit for these tests well in advance of the due date of your college application. Sometimes just because you were waiting till the last moment, you fail to get your scores in time for the application. Also, if you take the tests while the application date is still a few months off, then you have the option of a retest in case you want to improve your grades.

The Typical College Application
The application process is more than just filling up a form. It is an elaborate process, requires thorough research and reflects your knowledge and drive for higher education. A typical college application process starts with research of college websites, to determine the course curriculums, the application requirements, the deadlines, and the actual choice of colleges. Documents that should be ready for submission, with your application, are the transcripts of your high school grades, the SAT or ACT grades, your statement of purpose or an essay, and the letters of recommendation. An important part of the application process includes applying for financial aid. Complete, submit and track the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form at FAFSA on the Web.

Write an Engaging College Admission Essay
The whole purpose behind writing the essay is to give the recruiting counselor a chance to glimpse your potential as a leader, a thinker, and an original individual. So, if given a choice of topics, try to choose one that is closest to your beliefs, so that you can bring passion into it. If the topic has already been selected for you, then research the topic. Add original and innovative view points to researched material. Always try to put forth solutions rather than problems, like a true manager and leader. Avoid extreme views on controversial topics, so as not to ruffle feathers. Look for good essay writing tips at CollegeView.com.

Some Useful Tips to Help You With a College Application

College application becomes easy, if you follow these tips:

  • Find out the current information about the schools that accept a common application form and those which require a specific one. You can download the basic form at Common App Online. (You need to create a free account to use this service)
  • Arrange for your high school transcripts to be sent directly to the colleges where you are applying.
  • Find out which standardized test grades are required by the colleges you have chosen. Some colleges also require you to sit for SAT subject tests. Also check if the college needs the composite or individual SAT scores.
  • Get your recommendation letter from people who know you well and have a high opinion about you.
  • Write the essay according to suggestions already provided.
  • Submit before the deadline.
  • Visit SuperCollege.com for a thorough understanding of the process.

Here are some sites that will give you additional information:

SallieMae
Useduguides.com
Nacanet.org
Collegezone.com
Makingitcount.com
Collegeview.com

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