Do you know getting into college is really a simple task if we prioritize each step correctly, and rather than procrastinating, we complete each task on time.
After looking into various stuff on the internet and involving various debates & discussions with various college advisors, I concluded steps that are enough to get into college,
I recommend you to read the article thoroughly, as there might be things you must know, such as prerequisites for college admission don’t change, but I have added some extra stuff in each step, which is essential for you to know.
So here we begin.
How to get into college
1. Choose your career
Every person has a passion and wants to pursue as a career, so before making a choice for college and starting working on college application requirements, you should first make a choice for the majors you will be enrolling in and, most importantly, where you want to see yourself after 5 or 10 years,
In order to find the right career choice, you can follow these steps –
You first need to seek your interest, whether it is in academics, sports, music or anything else.
And then, what are the career prospects related to that interest?
What is the demand of the career you are choosing in the upcoming decade?
What are the subjects you need to study in high school which could benefit your career further?
You can discuss this with your friends, family members, school faculty, and career advisor, and if you want, you can reach out to the person on LinkedIn who is currently pursuing that career.
This decision seriously plays a vital role in further steps. It’s better if you take it wisely.
2. List the prerequisites
After making a career choice, it depends on the career, whether it requires college studies or not. If yes! then you have to go through the first entry-level to fulfil the requirements to get into college, and these are considered the most important factors in college admissions.
a. GPA – In the college admission process, it’s a first filtration for the applicants. I always recommend students have a good GPA, as it gives you a choice and increases your chance of getting admitted to college. Additionally, some of the financial aids also set the criteria for a particular GPA to apply.
b. Take AP and Honor Classes – If you are scoring well in your regular courses with a GPA of 3.0, it has been suggested to take AP classes, which need to be related to the major you intake in future. If you score better in AP Courses, such as a B grade, it will showcase not only your grade but also a challenging aspect of taking a difficult AP class.
Additionally, you also have the option of Honor Classes, which are less difficult compared to AP classes, but it also comes under consideration when shortlisting the applicant.
c. ACT/ SAT score – Most universities and colleges, after the pandemic, removed the requirement of SAT and ACT scores. In my opinion, taking the ACT and SAT exams helps us to know our capabilities, and if you get good scores, then it will benefit you to get the favour of college during admission.
Most students attempt ACT and SAT scores in junior year. If they score less, they can re-attempt in senior year and submit their best score to college.
“There is no limit to the ACT and SAT exams, but each time, you need to pay the exam fees.”
d. Letter of Recommendation – It helps colleges to know about you from other prospects. As per my recommendation, you should have a good relationship with the faculty from whom you are getting a letter of recommendation, as they will cover all aspects, including your attitude in class and the ideas you shared for a particular topic.
Secondly, you should prefer one from the school career advisor. Two letters of recommendation are enough.
e. Essay – Yeah, there are many essay writing services on the market to draft your essay. Do you know why college demands an essay? They want to know about you from your words; it’s a form of conversation between you and the admission officer.
So if you write on your own, you will draft better and most importantly, rather than speaking about the fall down in challenges take, you should explain why you have taken that challenge,
One loophole most students have is that they don’t get help from the achievers who got admitted to that college. They might be your siblings or friends, brother & sister, or relatives; their suggestions can be a game changer for your essay,
It would help if you took their suggestions by giving the draft. It will be feasible for both of you.
To determine the interest of the students towards the college, some of the colleges started asking for a supplement essay. Under this, you need to describe the reason for selecting the college and what difference you find from other colleges.
f. Extracurricular Activities – In extracurricular activities, you have various options. It can be your active participation in sports or volunteer involvement in community services. Having extracurricular activities in your college application helps the admission officer determine your interests and attributes, such as leadership, communication and many more.
g. Work Experience – In summer, it is better to get into some sort of internship, giving tuition, or if you find the job, it is optional, but if you get one, getting work experience determines the personality and ethics towards the time.
h. Resume – In some college admissions, a resume is optional. As getting all the above prerequisites, there must be something which unlists all your achievements into one draft, so a resume is the best option to compile and submit with the college application,
Extra - What colleges look into -
Yeah, all the prerequisites are essential for college admission. Do you know I came across the Harvard shortlist? There, I found students who have good GPAs and ACT/SAT scores are rejected. While considering this, I started researching for a reason.
Then, I found this video of Alex Chang, a computer science alumni of Harvard University. It’s really helpful. The video theme is “The Truth About College Admission.”
College or University wants human beings, not machines. As per them, good GPA, ACT, and SAT scores showcase the interest of students towards particular subjects, but apart from the academics, there is wholesome development as well, which helps the student to make wiser decisions in real-world problems.
3. Choosing the college
Till now, you are confident regarding your career choice and have made all preparations for getting into college. Now, it’s time to choose the right college to apply.
Right College means the place where you get the best out of yourself to reach your goal. As you are putting in your parent’s hard-earned money or taking debt for tuition fees and doing hard work, it is essential to get good results after putting in so much effort.
During discussions, I have found many of the applicants, while filling out applications for colleges, select the colleges without seeking the constraints, which includes
Will I be able to select that college? (like having a GPA of 2.0 and thinking to college, which requires a GPA of 4.0)
Does the major I am choosing in college have good exposure or not?
I suggest some of the filters you can choose while preparing the college list. Before using the below filters, list the colleges with their GPA and ACT/ SAT scores.
Does the college have the major you want to pursue?
Is the location of the college suitable for me?
What is the Graduation Rate of the college?
What is the student and faculty ratio in the class?
Placement Support and Employment Percentage
Which financial aid does the college provide and help in getting?
Research Aids college gets
Clubs college have
How much are the tuition fees?
Experience of faculties who will teach you in your majors, you can check in the website.
Student Diversity in terms of gender, age and international & local students
Collaboration with corporate to prepare curriculum and onsite training experience
Past College Alumni reviews and from Linkedin, you can connect with them and, most importantly, ask them about the ratio between practical and theoretical knowledge.
The above filters are enough to choose the best college. Preparing this list with filters has the probability of getting selected in one or two colleges in the list of 10.
It is the best tip which increases your chances of getting into college.
For the college or university you are interested in, you must attend their live sessions for admission and request a college tour. You can prefer virtual tours and also follow their social media profiles, as these things make the college ensure that you are interested in their college and you are not randomly choosing the college.
4. Compiling the College Application
Now, it is time to wrap up. You have to bunch up all the prerequisites with the final filtered college list. Kindly go through the essays once again recommended,
Now, it is time to register yourself in the common app and start applying for college. If you procrastinate, it is better to maintain a schedule which has deadlines for applying to college,
To confirm the last date to apply for the college, you can check their official website.
Some colleges also provide an opportunity for early action (early application) option. You can avail of this option in the fall, and at the end of December, you will get the result.
As per reports, it has been found that 60 % of students who apply early are being accepted. Last but not least, I will recommend unless you are well not prepared, don’t apply.
5. Keep patience for the selection
You need to wait for 1 month to know the final result. There might be cases in one of the colleges where you might be wait-listed; don’t think you are rejected. They have put you under consideration, and you will get an email from the college admission officer to stay in touch,
As the admission officer also wants to wrap up the admission process as early as possible, if you are wait-listed, you should make active follow-up after 15 days in regards to the wait-listed status.
5 Don't that increase your chances of getting into college.
a. Do not start late – Most of us start preparation for college very late due to procrastination. It’s my advice to subdivide the task into both junior and senior years. I have shared the image, which showcases how I prefer dividing the task and completing all the work on time.
2. Research for the majors and college – Before researching for college, first research about the majors you will pursue, whether they have a demand in the market, what the pay scale for students who graduate with this major, and what kind of jobs you will get after pursuing a major
Then phase 2 of researching the college will start.
Don’t apply to the college on the basis of only reputation. You need to check whether the major you want to pursue is there in college or not. Does the college have the required faculties and lab work available in the college or not for the major you are getting into?
The best thing you can do is take reviews from alumni and schedule a college tour.
Considering these attributes will help you get a good outcome later.
3. Essay Writing – Don’t waste time researching the perfect topic for an essay unless you are under extreme duress. Your first draft for essay writing will not be the final one. You need to write and edit multiple times, as we are not perfect writers; it takes time to reach perfection.
Additionally, to make our essay stand out from others, we lack uniqueness. We should understand that an essay is a kind of conversation between the applicant and the admission officer. You should include your experience and achievement, which make the touching and authentic.
4. List the due dates – It is essential to prepare the list of colleges you are applying to with their due dates, as most colleges have subdivided due dates with Early Decision 1, Early Decision 2, Early Action and Regular Decision. There are separate due dates for scholarship applications from a common app. You must include that also.
Additionally, there are financial aid due dates as well. Some of the standard requirements for financial aid include FAFSA, CSS Profile and uploading specific documents to IDOC. Some of the colleges have their separate financial portal.
5. Last, Don’t – Stay motivated for your college application and avoid getting into a trap of mental holiness, comparing your essay, GPA, ACT, and SAT scores, as no one knows what the result will be. Most important, feel free to take help from others regarding your college application or essay writing.
I hope you like this blog. If you have any queries regarding or additional points on how to get into college, you can comment or email and, please share this blog with your loved ones to get benefit out of this valuable information.
About the author ....
Hi, I’m Erie Wilson “Think Tank” of this blog. Sharing knowledge related to career decisions since 2020, If you have any doubts related to choosing majors or searching for colleges, you are free to ask in the comments or send me an email.