If you are about to graduate high school and have college in your eye as your next big step, it’s never too early to start looking at schools and college programs. It may seem like a daunting task to figure out which one will suit you best, but with a few helpful tips you’ll be well on your way to getting a degree that interests you and will provide an exciting career for your future.
While many adults, attendants, and other authorities may express how important a college or university’s rank is, you must remember that this is not the “be all, end all”. Just because a school is ranked in the top 10 does not mean it is the best school for you, and it most certainly doesn’t mean it has a program that will interest you or suit your intended career path.
The key to finding the perfect match is making sure you will meet the level of your prospective schools’ academic standards. Things like your high school GPA/QPA, SAT/ACT scores, and entrance criteria are all things each school will take a look at. If you find you’re aligned with these standards, you’ll be less stressed when it comes to application and acceptance time.
A school’s selectivity can also affect your decision to apply. The selectivity reflects the percentage of students accepted by the school out of the number of students who have applied. Prestigious schools are extremely popular and while they offer a wide array of college majors, they don’t have room for everyone to get accepted. Instead, students that apply will have to meet stringent admission criteria. This is an important thing to consider since each school you apply at will have an application fee that you must pay when you apply.
Don’t forget about extra-curricular activities! Colleges look for students that show leadership and take interest in activities outside of the classroom. It helps them find a good student balance on their campus and shows them your strengths and abilities showcasing what you can offer the school or university. It’s never too late to start if you don’t have much in the way of sports, music, or volunteering. If sports and music isn’t your thing, join a club or run for student council.
In the end, selecting a perfect school is as much them choosing you as you choosing them. Remember to work hard in high school and participate in a few activities or sports that you enjoy. Apply early to schools or programs that interest you because once colleges start getting tight on space, they are much more picky with their acceptance letters.