Applying for College: Tips for Getting Started

Updated: Aug 17

The college admission season is just around the corner, so it's time for juniors and seniors to start preparing to apply to college.

This application process is not easy, and procrastinating will only add to the stress of an already anxiety filled time. If your high school senior is an expert at avoiding the subject of college or is completely unmotivated about the process, don't give up! Follow these tips to help your student get started.


1. Use A Calendar

It doesn't matter what you use, as long as you use it. A calendar will help you stay organized whether you're using your phone, desk calendar or even a whiteboard. Mark down important dates, like ACT and SAT dates or scholarship deadlines. College visits at the high school, campus visits, and application deadlines are some other important dates to start planning ahead for. View the 2022-23 Application Deadlines for these top colleges.


2. Make A "Brag Sheet"

This may seem like an overwhelming project, but the longer it is put off, the more difficult it will become. Begin by making a list of every activity, job and award that your student has been involved in during their high school careers. Don't forget to list community service and volunteer work too! Colleges expect students to have completed some sort of community service throughout their high school years. Rising juniors should complete this by the end of their spring semester.


3. Do Some Research

Your student can start reviewing schools online by looking at several websites specifically focused for students and parents. For example, Niche and College Confidential are just two of the many websites available that offer insight to student life on campus and academic offerings.


4. Create Your College List

Once you've done some research together, your student should have a good understanding of what they're looking for in a university. Now it's time to make a list of their top picks. Narrow the college list to 6-10 schools that are the best academic, social and financial fit. Make sure to also include schools that can be classified as best fit, reach, and most likely. A well-constructed list will most likely help your student achieve greater admission results. Crafting this list takes time, so it's best to start early.


Remember: preparing for college applications doesn't have to be a strenuous task. Keeping organized and being proactive will not only improve your chances of being accepted into your dream school, but will also help you remain sane and confident throughout the process.


To learn more about how we can assist with the college process, contact Tim Tibbitts at tim@thewholekid.com or 216.235.3115.