Do you want to apply to college but fear the process will be too difficult? If so, you’re not the only one. Many people wonder what it takes to make it through the college application process, especially if they’ve never done something like it before. Learning what the process entails ahead of time can make things easier. Keep reading to learn a few college application tips that can help you excel.

SAT/ACT Scores Are Not the Only Factors

You don’t need to have a high score to get into college. In fact, many colleges are now looking at a variety of factors in admissions and SAT and ACT scores are one part of the equation. If you don’t do well on the SAT or ACT, there are plenty of other ways to show your strengths and abilities, such as through your personal statement, extracurricular activities, or letters of recommendation. Don’t fret if your score isn’t as high as you’d like. There are still plenty of opportunities to show colleges why you’re deserving of admission.

Common App Is Not the Only Way

While the Common App is the most popular way to apply to college, it’s not the only way. There are many colleges that have their own application process and don’t use the Common App. If you’re applying to one of these colleges, you’ll need to follow their specific application instructions. Start your applications early. Don’t wait until the last minute to fill out the forms and write your essays. Organize your focus on and keep track of deadlines, required materials, and your progress on each application. Be thoughtful in your responses. The admissions committee wants to get to know you, so take the time to write thoughtful personal essays.¬†Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re struggling with any part of the process, reach out to your parents, teachers, or a guidance counselor.

Use Naviance to Research

You can use Naviance to research colleges. Naviance has a college search tool that allows you to search for colleges by location, size, and major. You can also research careers by interest, salary, and more. It can help you stay organized during the college application process. The “My College” tab allows you to keep track of deadlines, requirements, and progress. You can also use the To-Do List to create a list of tasks.

Use the Coalition App

The Coalition App is a centralized application system that makes it easy for students to apply to multiple colleges. Even better, the Coalition App is free to use! Besides the standard information (name, address, etc.), the Coalition App asks for academic information (GPA, coursework, etc.), extracurricular activities, and two essays. These essays are your chance to show colleges who you are as a person, so spend some time on them! Over 90% of colleges and universities accept the Coalition App, so it’s worth submitting. The process is simple and easy, so there’s no reason not to give it a try.

Early Action

Early action is when you submit your application early, usually in October or November. The school then reviews your application and notifies you of its decision early in December or January. This is beneficial because it allows you to apply to other schools if this one does not accept you early. Early action is non-binding, so students are not obligated to attend school if they are accepted. This can be a great option for students who are unsure about where they want to go to college or for students who have a strong preference for one school. Keep in mind that some schools give preferential treatment to early applicants. So, if your top school has early action, it’s worth applying!

Know These Things About College Application Process

There are a few things that students should understand about the college application process that they may not be aware of. For instance, the Common App is not the only way you should use it, make use of Naviance and The Coalition App. The college application process is not about getting good grades and test scores. Admissions Counselors also consider factors such as extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, and essays. Therefore, it is important to put time and effort into all aspects of the college application, not just academics.

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