Tips for Successful College Applications

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Maddy Bruce, Editor-in-Chief

As the regular decision deadlines for colleges across the U.S. are quickly approaching, many students are scrambling in their efforts to submit their applications to their chosen schools. With this comes crippling amounts of stress, daily trips to the guidance office and neglect of schoolwork. Although nothing except for time can alleviate these problems, there are things students can do to lessen the pressure of college application season.

“My biggest tip is to get applications in as early as possible,” suggests senior guidance counselor Mrs. Weiss. The sooner the applications are in, the sooner students will hear back from the colleges, and the less stress they will be under. Weiss also suggests that seniors read the application completely and fill it out in the way the schools prefer. This way, there will be less confusion between the college and the student, and the student will receive a decision more quickly.

Once they decide where they want to apply, students might procrastinate filling out their applications because they don’t know where to start. “Do your research and make sure you know what you want as well as you possibly can,” Weiss says, “What schools you want are contingent on what your major is, so you have to do research on what your major is and what your career will be.” All in all, of you start with basic research of the schools, major, and eventual job you want, you will be able to finish successfully before the given deadlines.

Even if you know where to start, you will eventually hit bumps in the road and have questions that you and your parents can’t answer. This is where Mrs. Weiss comes in. “I love to work with students, and it’s my favorite part of my job. I can’t spend enough time with everyone, so students need to come see me as much as possible,” she says.

One specific part of the college application process that students often have trouble with is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. This, Weiss says, is one of the most important parts of college applications, because it helps students get money to pay for college. It provides students with grants, funds, and work study programs for their post-secondary education. This is separate from your regular college applications. To apply, go to fafsa.gov.

Overall, if you are stuck in the process of applying to college or just have questions about it, make sure you use your resources. Do research on your schools, fill out all of the necessary documents, and pay a visit to Mrs. Weiss if you have unanswered questions that are slowing you down.