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How to Get into Your Dream College – An Overview

Ever had a crush only to find out the other person liked you back the whole time? Make sure they know it! Colleges need to know you are
interested before you submit the application with the common app. This is called “demonstrated interest.” Demonstrated interest is currently ranked above interviews and class rank by most schools in determining which students to admit. The following steps will show your dream school you care and set the stage for a great relationship!

    1. Email admissions to request more information.
    2. Attend a college fair or college visit and introduce yourself to the rep.
    3. Schedule a visit to the school and attend the tour and info session.
    4. Put it in the application. Tell them they are your top choice, and back it up with reasons. It will be helpful to cite one or more of the following:

  • Your specific experiences on campus
  • Highlights of a conversation with a current student (give the student’s name and graduating class if possible).
  • Highlights of a conversation with an admissions rep (give the rep’s name if possible).

Be Facebook Smart

We love Facebook. It has revolutionized the way we keep in touch with our friends and family, follow our favorite companies and celebrities, and learn about the greatest parties and events. And with apps like Acceptly, Facebook even gives you access to maximizing your preparation for college! Take on a job in your free time and to see hos part-time hourly pay translates to a full-time salary, check out this paycheck calculator.

But keep in mind, Facebook also allows your future colleges to get a peek into your personal life. An increasing number of colleges are using Facebook as a tool for researching college applicants. In fact, according to US News and World Reports, over 80% of colleges use Facebook to connect with, recruit, and research potential students. And it doesn’t stop with colleges. Employers for future jobs and internships are using Facebook to pre-screen applicants.

So let’s keep Facebook working for us, not against us, by following these tips to being “Facebook Smart”:

  • Only post content and pictures you would be willing to show college admissions, your grandma, your boss, or your high school principal.
  • Set your profile settings to private!
  • Never post anything inappropriate, illegal, or derogatory.
  • Only accept friend requests from people you know and trust.
  • Remember above all, your Facebook is a representation of you. By posting content to the Internet, you may be giving up some of your privacy and ownership of that content. And that content doesn’t go away. Make smart choices today to lead to your success down the road.

Choosing a College

As you plan for college, one of the most exciting parts is choosing your list of colleges. You might be wondering how to choose your best fit colleges. Many students run to college rankings. While these lists are fun, I don’t think it was a huge surprise that Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, Penn, and Duke all ranked in the top 10. And let’s be realistic, with these schools accepting between 6-11% of applicants, the competition is pretty fierce.

So check out these tips for choosing your best colleges:

1. Look for a good academic fit.

Be realistic with the schools you are targeting. Remember, grades and test scores hold substantial weight in admissions decisions. While it is healthy to have a few reach schools, you want to focus on building a list of colleges that accept students with GPA’s and test scores similar to yours. The closer you are to a school’s average admitted student, the higher your chances of getting accepted. And the higher your chances of getting scholarship money!

2. Look for a good social fit.

Each college offers a unique social scene. College isn’t just about going to class. It is also about meeting new people and trying new things. But everyone has a different definition of a “fun” social life. Figure out where you will do the best socially and look for colleges that offer what you need. Greek life? Adventure clubs? Honors dorms? It is all out there.

3. Look for the right location.

Going to college often means moving to a new place. Think about where you want to be. There are colleges in all types of locations. From rural areas, to tiny towns, to suburbs, to large cities. Think about the environment where you will be happy. Also, think about the weather. As a student, you will live at school during the winter. Many students visit a campus during the spring or summer but forget to consider what the weather is like from September-February.

4. Focus on opportunities, not names.

Always pick schools based on the personal opportunities available, not the name. College is what you make of it. Graduate programs and future employers are far more interested in your academic performance and experiences during college than the name on your degree. It is easy to get focused on the names of schools. But remember, some of the wealthiest, most successful Americans graduated from schools that you have never even heard of.