How-To: Apply for college

Tips on how to apply for college

The fall is normally associated with changing leaves and carving pumpkins, but for incoming seniors there is an underlying factor. Applying for college can be extremely stressful if you are lost in the process or don’t know where to begin. Here is what you need to know when applying for college!
The first thing to do in this process is to begin to explore what your interests are that you would want to pursue in college. Talking to a guidance counselor, guardian or teacher to get advice on the best fit for colleges is a great way to get an outside perspective. Going to different online resources and college websites can be a great way to stay more informed about all of your options for locations and colleges. From there, create a list of those colleges that you would be interested in applying to.

Questions to ask yourself when finding a college to go to:
Do I want to go to a big or small college?
Do I want to stay close to home?
What kind of weather will I want to be in if I chose to move out of state?
What colleges fit my needs best?”
What is most important to me?
Do the housing options offered fit my lifestyle?
What clubs or activities would I want to participate in? Does this college offer those?
How good are the classes compared to other colleges in regards to what I want to study?

Taking some time to visit different campuses and explore the area you could potentially spend the next several years of your life can be extremely beneficial to figuring out what college you might like. Comparing these colleges or asking former/current students is also a great way to figure out your choices.
Once that list of possible college options is narrowed down, begin the application process to those places. The requirements for applications can vary depending on which college you wish to attend, but having a high school transcript, entrance exam scores, a letter of recommendation and personal essay will more than likely be required.
Always remember to apply for scholarships, and understand your financial aid options for college. Some ways to find scholarships that have been verified through SHS is by looking on your school Naviance account, clicking on the “Scholarships” options and seeing which ones you are eligible for. Make sure to apply before Nov. 1 if you are interested in the possibility of getting those scholarships!

Tips to keep in mind while filling out scholarships:
Begin applying for scholarships sooner rather than later
Retake the SAT and ACT if you desire higher test scores
Read the directions for the scholarship thoroughly
Make your scholarship application personal
Keep a copy of your application in case you can reuse some of the material for other scholarships
The common app is a great way to efficiently spend your time while applying. This app keeps your applications saved, so you have the ability to reuse some of that material.