The college admissions process is confusing and overwhelming. Start here to get your questions answered.
The cost of a college education in the United States is rising. According to the College Board, it can cost your family $23,890 to send your student to an in-state public school, and $32,410 for a private school. To help American families with college costs, federal and state governments and colleges give more than $200 billion annually in financial aid. Your student can apply for financial aid to receive support to help meet the costs of obtaining a college education.
Creating a stand out college application is important. Colleges receive thousands of applications every year. More than 80% of colleges accept half of the students who apply. The other 20% are selective schools that struggle to differentiate between students who have outstanding grades and test scores. Therefore, selective colleges will depend on you to help them decide. You can get an edge in admissions if you spend time early on showing them how you are an authentic and unique fit.
Writing a college essay is not like writing an English class essay. Rather, the college essay is a personal statement that captures who you are as a student and why you should be admitted into college. In about 650 words, the college essay should be well written and compelling, engaging, and deeply personal.
When it comes to preparing for college applications, first you want to make sure that you get organized. It does not matter if you have impressive grades and test scores. Or if you are super involved with extracurricular activities and your teachers speak about you with high regard. All of this means nothing if you do not have a process or timeline for submitting your college applications.
As an increasing number of selective and highly selective colleges go test-optional, it shows that institutions are recognizing that it takes more than a score to show a student’s promise. But before deciding whether or not to submit your scores, consider the pros and cons of applying test-optional.