Applying to your reach, match, and safety schools tend to be the most stressful time for all high school seniors. After all, how are you supposed to explain four years of sweat, tears, and hard work in a short college application? Here are three keys to a successful college application.
Academics are the foundation to any college application– everything else is secondary. Without strong grades and standardized test scores, it’ll be more than a struggle to have your application even considered by your reach school. Additionally, once you’re accepted, your academics are the key to scholarships. Many schools award scholarships strictly based on your level of academic success.
Extracurriculars are the immediate second to strong academic skills. The clubs that you participate in reveal your career interests and aspirations, but more than that it reveals your skills outside of the classroom– are you able to apply your learning? It is vital to one, participate in clubs, and two, lead clubs. Find a club that focuses on your passion and career aspirations, and join it, then lead it! As the leader of any club, you will earn the means to showcase your leadership skills by mentoring your members and carrying out club projects.
Recommendation letters are an important piece to most college applications, and so it is important that you find the right person to write your recommendation letter. In your search, aim to find someone who has seen your work inside and outside of the classroom. Teachers who have seen how you work inside a classroom and outside of a classroom, preferably in a club, can attest to your academic skills and leadership skills. The most common mistake that students make when finding someone to write them a recommendation letter is looking to a teacher from a class they completed as an underclassman. Sure, you might have gotten a great grade in the class, and the teacher may have enjoyed you personally, but chances are– that relationship hasn’t been maintained and that teacher cannot attest to your personal and professional growth.