How to make the application process smoother for students
■ Metro Service / Contributed
Applying to colleges is exciting for many high school students. But that excitement is sometimes tempered by anxiety. The college application process can affect students’ lives for years to come, so it’s understandable why some teenagers might feel stressed as they apply to college.
The National Center for Educational Statistics says 69 percent of high school graduates in the United States enroll in college the fall after graduating from high school. Many students begin applying to college before entering their senior year of high school. Students can employ various strategies to make applying to college less stressful.
Create an inventory of student experiences and awards
When completing their college applications, students submit a variety of materials. In addition to students’ track records in the classroom, schools will be interested in kids’ extracurricular activities, hobbies, volunteer work, and even things they do during their free time.
Parents and students can work together to develop a master list that includes information about what students have accomplished during high school. These may include involvement in certain clubs, participation in sports teams, advanced ranking in scouting programs, or even a list of books read. Having this document handy will make it that much simpler to fill out college applications.
Investigate the Common Application
The Common Application began as a niche program for select private liberal arts colleges, but now has grown into an organization that services more than 750 schools. The organization enables students to create an account and complete one basic form that will be accepted by all institutions who are members. The CA helps students streamline the college application process and reduce redundancy. An alert system also helps applicants manage application deadlines.
Avoid applying everywhere
Some students think that applying to dozens of schools will improve their chances of being admitted. However, applicants may be wasting their time applying to schools they have no intention of attending, and that only adds to the stress of meeting deadlines. Narrow down the possibilities to a handful of favorite schools and go from there.
Use the resources at your disposal
Students who have access to guidance counselors, mentors, college centers, or even teachers who are willing to help with the application process should use these resources wisely. In addition, iPhone and Android apps can help streamline the college application process.
Consider scholarships concurrently
Some schools automatically consider applicants for scholarships, grants and work-study programs. But that’s not so with every school, so students may have to apply on their own or rely on third parties for scholarships. Fastweb is a leading online resource to find scholarships to pay for school.
Advanced preparation can make the college application process a lot less stressful for students and their parents.