Getting Into College The Unconventional Way: Creative Ways To Boost Your College Application And Help You Get Into The Right School

by A Guest Author

The headlines are clear from newspapers and online news sources every year. Colleges and universities see more and more applicants every year, and the slots at the best colleges remain scarce.

Scarcity of Slots

Some top state universities find themselves accepting more out-of-state students because they pay a higher tuition bill. The universities need the money. But that also means slots for in-state students can become even more competitive.

What is a high school student to do? Here are a few tips for how students can increase the possibility of getting into the college or university of their choice.

Follow the News

First keep up with the admission trends at the schools of your choice. One key example, a concern in Washington state over a smaller number of admissions of in-state students led to change pushed through by the state legislature, according to The Seattle Times. And that means a window of opportunity for potential incoming freshmen. But if you had written that school off your list, you might not know of the shift unless you were following the action. Plus, your awareness of the stresses behind the admissions process can be used in whatever essay your write to make the case for that admission.

The best school for you

First, know that the school of your choice need not be limited to just one option. Make a list of the key programs that are important to you, then narrow your list to a top five, or 10 or even 15.

Apply to those schools, knowing that you will have a good problem if you get accepted to more than one.

Put in the work to make your application for each school fit that college's requirements and focus on the specific benefits of that school. In other words, don't send in cookie-cutter applications.

Dual enrollment a plus

Meanwhile, work to make your application stand out. There are several ways to do this. First, make use of the high school options available to you. A study by The National Association of College Admission Counseling reported that students who enroll in classes that provide dual credit -- at both the high school and college level -- have a higher rate of attendance at higher-education institutions.

Don't Forget to Take Advanced Placement or Other Honors-Level Classes Whenever Possible. Another way to focus on the dual enrollment benefit is to attend a school that offers an International Baccalaureate program.

Volunteer activities can be wide-ranging

High school students may have heard one too many times how important it is to volunteer. So, here's one more important piece of wisdom. Volunteering is important of course, but even more important is to engage in the activities where your interests lie. You don't have to join in a volunteer activity just because you want it to look good on your application. Rather, engage in the activities because you have a passion for that area. Don't forget that volunteerism is a reflection of your skill-sets and interests. Go beyond the cookie-cutter volunteer activities and you will stand out.

Show Them You Want It

Just because a college application doesn't require an essay, or a bio, or a photo, doesn't mean you have to refrain. Especially if the school is the No. 1 on your list, pull out all the stops. Write about what makes it No. 1. Write about why you would be an asset as a student, what you hope to do with the specific education that school can provide. Why going there, out of all the schools out there, will make a difference. And, why you will make a difference by becoming a graduate of that institution.

Don't Forget to Enlist the Help of Others

And whatever you do, remember to create a community of supporters. In other words, get your mentors, your teachers, your employers to write letters of reference for you -- again focusing on the specific traits you would bring to that university.

Combine all of the above steps and you will find a college application package that will work for you.

About the Author

This article was written by Sam Turner, who is a father of two grad students and a psychologist, find out  What Can You Do With A Psychology Degree?

This post was written by A Guest Author

This post was written by a guest author. If you have high quality, useful information to share with students, send us an email or click Write For Us to learn more. And in case you're wondering - yes, you can promote yourself in this fancy author byline.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: