Ten Tips on the College Process from Two GHS ’14 Grads

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By Matt Pignataro and Courtney Oarr

The college process is both a tedious and stressful time for high school seniors. However, this process marks the beginning of your future as an adult and should be a very enjoyable time. After going through the process we have a couple pieces of advice for people going through the process. Some of these things you may have heard before but take our advice and your college application experience will go as smoothly possible.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 11.29.02 AM1.     Apply to any school you want. Now this might sound so simple but it is much more than that. Do not base your prospective college off of strictly grades and test scores. You will never know if you would of got in if you never apply.

2.     Visit almost every school you plan to apply to. If you apply to schools that you haven’t visited that could be a huge waste of money as most colleges charge you between $50-70 to apply. Also if you visit and dislike the school, you can cross it off of your list.

3.    If the school has Early Action, apply Early Action. Applying Early Action will do two things for you. One it will force you to get all of your stuff done. Secondly it will show colleges that you have an interest in them early.

4.   Begin researching colleges junior year, start planning for the future of your education early on to decrease the workload as deadlines grow closer. By doing so you will reduce the stress factor of the college process and have a better idea of what you want to do.

5.    If you think that you might be interested in taking a gap-year or post grad year do your research. It is important to know all of your options prior to applying to colleges. Some universities even offer gap-year programs. A gap-year/post grade year offers the opportunity to get your grades up, travel, secure your financial situation and better prepare for what is to come of your future.

6.   Prepare financially for your future education, if you are interested in a university that is costly, it is imperative to research scholarship opportunities and apply for financial aid if you are in a complicated situation. Scholarships are offered for nearly everything, so it is important to find out which ones you are eligible for receiving.

7. Prepare for your standardized tests. Whether you’re taking the SAT or ACT prepare for the test. Do whatever you need to do to prepare for these tests. Also do not be afraid to take the test multiple times or take both the SAT and the ACT.

8.  Do not let your grades falter just because you have been accepted into a university! Colleges can revoke your acceptance if they find that you are having problems academically. Second semester senior year is a good time to relax after all the hard work you have put into your studies. However, if you fail a class and/or get in trouble with the law  the school has the right to revoke your acceptance!

9. Once you are accepted into a school, definitely attend the accepted students day and schedule a shadow day. These days will give you another opportunity to see the school as well the kids who currently attend the school and your potential classmates.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 11.28.43 AM(I made my college decision after having a Shadow Day at Seton Hall-Matt).

10. Last but not least do not base your decision off of what other people are doing! The college process is very different for everyone and is based off of your four years of academic excellence. Do not let the pressure of the college process get you down!

Matt Pignataro will be attending Seton Hall University and Courtney Oarr will be attending the University of Vermont in the fall.