5 Ways to Improve Your College Acceptance Chances Today
Applying to colleges and universities is incredibly daunting. You may have a dream college or program that you want to get into, or you may not have a single clue about what you want to do next. Regardless of where you are currently, there are five very important steps that you will want to take today to improve your selection and then your chances of being accepted. Today is the perfect time to start, and remember the best option may be one you’ve never heard of before!
1. What are the Real Acceptance Requirements?
There is a big difference between the minimum requirements and what you’ll actually need to be accepted. This is because top programs at great universities are popular, and there isn’t a first-come, first-served system in place. Instead, you’ll need to be at the top of applicants, which will be different from having the minimum GPA.
Take Purdue, for example. The average student here has a 3.66 GPA, a 28.0 ACT, and a 1205 SAT. This can be higher than the individual program requirements, so it’s important to look up the average Purdue GPA in advance.
2. Add Extracurricular Activities to Your Resume
A great way to make your application stand out is to have more than just your test scores and GPA. Though any extracurricular activity will help, for the best results, try to focus on activities that relate to your chosen programs. If you want to get into a STEM program, for example, you can head the robotics team or even enter into a competition. Building up credentials, awards, and even just experience this way looks great on your college application and can help you get internships and traineeships during your time at university.
3. Take Time on Your Application Essay
The application’s essay is greatly misunderstood because it’s less about who you are and why you want to be on the program itself. If you can clearly outline why the program is right for you and your goals and how you intend to use the skills and knowledge in your future, you’ll be on the right track. Make the essay as targeted to that university program as possible. When it does come time to talk about yourself, draw from your previous experiences and interests as evidence of your passion for the field.
4. Get in Touch with Existing Students (and Graduates)
If you want to improve your application, get in touch with students and graduates to learn more about what they did and how you can improve your chances of getting in. This is a great way also to gain extra insight into what the program is like, what the best courses are, and what teachers are the best.
5. Have a Backup Plan
There will always be the chance that you won’t be accepted, which is why the final step is to have a great backup plan in place. This backup plan can be a backup school, or it could be to take a gap year to take on internships in your field. You can also take short courses, work on your portfolio, etc. There’s no reason why you cannot apply the next year again and be accepted then! Regardless of what your backup plan looks like, have an effective one in place so that you can take productive steps forward, even in the worst-case scenario.