College Planning & Applications

Information and tips on applying and planning for college

Planning for college takes lots of time and effort, but when done correctly, can help save wasted time and money attending the wrong college.

The College Application

One of the major parts of planning for college is the college application. The college application is one of the most important things you fill out in your lifetime. College applications determine which schools accept you, where you will attend college, who you will meet, and what job you will get after you graduate. Even though applying to college is one the most important things you will ever do, it is not as hard as some make it out to be. The important thing is to relax and try to be as smart as possible. Our college application tips are here to help guide you when you apply to college.

It is important when planning for college to narrow down the schools you are interested in, and find out which colleges or universities are known to be the toughest colleges to get into. If they are, students should apply to many other backup schools to be sure they have a few choices. Just because you have a 4.0 and were the president of every club at your school, does not mean you are guaranteed to be accepted to whatever college you choose.

College Application Tips

Apply Online! Only recently have students been able to apply online for colleges and universities. If the school allows online application, all students should take advantage of this. At most schools it is free to apply online to colleges, compared to paying to apply by mail. This is because it saves the college money and hours of entering a students information into a database. It is usually a good idea to fill out your entire application on paper or on your computer first, to make sure everything is perfect. Then type or copy and paste the appropriate fields when going through the online application.

High School Juniors - SAT & ACT

High school juniors should take their SAT or ACT test the spring of Junior year. Try to take the test as early as possible in the spring, so schedule early. If students need to take the SAT and/or ACT over again, schedule it for the fall of your senior year.

Admissions Terminology

Here are some definitions for terms that are used when applying to or planning for college:

  • Good Match School - The best fit for a student based on factors such as academics in high school and extracurricular activities. It is important to be realistic when determining what is a good match school.
  • Reach School - A school more difficult to get into with a student's high school academic performance or extracurricular activities alone. Writing an excellent essay, or getting a stand out recommendation may help the chances of getting into this school, but a student should not get their hopes up.
  • Safety School - A school where the student's high school performance and extracurricular activities exceeds the schools requirements. Even though the student can assume they will be accepted to this school, nothing is guaranteed, so it is best to apply to many safety schools to be on the safe side.

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