The college process can be difficult and stressful for students; however, there are many helpful ways to accelerate and improve the college application and decision making process. Underclassman should start to think about college early and take school seriously because many colleges look at freshman and sophomore year classes. By beginning the college process early, it adds less stress to students as college rapidly approaches.
There are several factors needed on a college application: test scores, extracurricular activities, service work, and academics. One of the most important factors required by almost every college are test scores, either the ACT or SAT standardized tests. These tests show the students abilities in everyday subjects: english, reading, mathematics, science, and writing. According to senior Bella Lohmiller, “I encourage students to take a test prep class, it really helps your score improve, and gives you useful tips to students so they can do well on the test.” Another important factor for college applications are extracurricular activities such as clubs and sports. Being involved in many extracurricular activities can really strengthen a student’s college application, and shows the students dedication to the activities over the years. Academics are another strong factor for college applications. Academics show how well a student progresses in the classroom. Some students should challenge themselves in Honors and AP classes that are offered. These classes aid students in academic growth, and can help some students become more engaged.
Service is another strong way to build up your college application. Service gives back to the community and helps others in need. Service opportunities such as feeding the homeless, tutoring kids, and cleaning up the community all display one’s attitude towards helping those less fortune it in their community.
Students should begin looking at college as early as freshman year. Engaging in the college search process gives students the opportunities to explore many colleges. In order to find the right college, students should visit several schools, look into the different majors and academic programs the school offers, the campus, and tuition costs. Bella Lohmiller indicates, “Visiting the school, gives students a glimpse of the atmosphere and school spirit, the student body life, and the staff members the school has to offer.” When deciding on a school, students should look at the majors and academic programs that are available. If a college you like does not have your major, why would you think of attending that school? Another important factor of the school is the campus. The school’s campus shows the atmosphere and the beauty of the school, exemplifying the positive student life on campus. Lastly, tuition cost is extremely important when deciding on a college. According to senior Lizzie Schoenfeld, “If a school’s tuition is too high, it may help eliminate colleges and make the process easier for students.” Students are highly encouraged to think about college early because it takes away the stress that will occur later in the student’s academic career, and will help develop an idea of where the student wants to attend college and gives them useful tips to be successful.