What you need to know about applying to a college/university
By Veronikha Salazar
The fact you are thinking about applying to college is a great deal. But, you have to go beyond the thinking and do it, apply for college. And even after that, you need to enroll, study hard and graduate from college. It is a great and doable goal!
Many things you are to consider when thinking about applying for college. Among the first things, college/university is NOT your only option. There are also plenty of vocational and technical schools and/or institutes too. There is literally thousands of options, you just have to seek them.
If you are considering applying to a degree granting college/university anywhere within the United States, here are a few things you need to know or remember:
1) First, keep in mind that college is not like high school anymore. You will have responsibilities that you did not have before. And though you may ask for your parents/mentors’ help during the application process, learn to do some things on your own. This will be something you will have to do A LOT while in college.
2) Different colleges/universities have different requirements i.e. high school transcripts or an academic equivalent (GED), SAT/ACT scores,
3) GPA is very important; not only for admission purposes but also for scholarship application purposes as well. Make sure your GPA meets the minimum admission requirements at the school(s) you want to get into.
4) Most schools require you to take the SAT or ACT. Depending of the school you could either one, unless they are VERY specific in which one you should take.
5) Take the SAT/ACT at least three times. The higher the score the more chances of getting admitted and better chances when applying for scholarships.
6) Most of the applications are now done online. So, make sure you have all the information you need before starting the application process.
7) Start the application process the summer before your senior year.
8) There is always an application fee you have to pay when applying. And those application fees vary. The more schools you apply the more you will have to pay; so choose which colleges/universities you want to apply to wisely.
9) A good number of schools to apply to is not less than five and no more than 10. So, make a list of your top 3-5 schools.
10) If you can, schedule some visits to the colleges/universities where you would like to apply. If you can not, then try to find somebody who goes or has gone to that school. They could give you great insight about the school.
11) If you can or would like, find the ranking for the schools you are applying to for the field of study you want to major in. Though, you need to keep in mind that the higher the ranking the more competition you will be facing when applying for admission or scholarships. A good website to search for college/university rankings is the Princeton Review.
12) Private school are going to cost more than public schools, and a 2 year school is going to cost less than a 4 year school. But, there is plenty of scholarships out there that can help you finance your education.
13) Though college education can seem high, do not let the cost discourage you from pursuing a college degree. Do as much as you can do to get a college degree. It’s worth the time and investment.
14) Remember that if the school you want to study at is not in the same state you live in, then you will most likely be charged out-of-state tuition. But, there is quite a few schools that offer tuition waivers for out-of-state students; so ask the school(s) you are interested in.
15) If you are considering seeking ways to finance your college education, then watch for school and/or scholarship/grant application deadlines.
16) Do not look only into scholarships offered by the school you are applying to, do your research; you will be surprised how many more private scholarships you may be eligible to apply for. A good website to use is Fastweb.
17) If you are not a U.S. resident or citizen, you can still apply to any college. Though some institutions may have some policies about undocumented students’ admission.
18) If you are a resident, there is some financial aid e.g. grants, scholarships, loans you may qualify for; but again, do your research and find out the requirements and deadlines.
19) If you do not have a major at the time of the application or enrollment, do Not panic, most classes during the first year of college are general ones. Do stay in contact with your academic advisor at all times.
20) When in doubt, Ask, Ask, and Ask some more. There is quite a few of us who want you to succeed. We are rooting for you. You are the one who will be writing our future, the future of our Hispanic community, state and nation!
If you have any questions or comments, please call me at (912)344-2513 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org