College Application Tips and Tricks

Hannah McManus, Student Writer

As a senior, it’s a relieving feeling now that the college application process is over for most of us. Although, for underclassmen, the anxiety of college applications is beginning to weigh in. Here are some tips to make the application process a little less stressful.

First thing to keep in mind, start as early as possible! Begin looking at schools as early as freshman year. You don’t have to commit anywhere, and maybe you don’t even know what you want to do in college, but it is always good to get an idea of colleges around you or even far away. If you start looking at colleges early on, it allows you time to check out schools near and far.  Do not wait until senior year and feel pressured to find a school.

Onto testing, when hearing the words SAT and ACT, for most students that sparks a feeling of dread. When taking the SAT, retake it two or three times so you have a few scores to work with if your school allows super scoring.  If you aren’t a strong test taker, take both SAT and ACT, all schools will accept both! Take your time on them and don’t stress. I know it sounds hard, but allow yourself enough time to study before taking on either of the tests. Work hard and it will pay off with a good score. Remember, if your school allows it, super scoring is always an option.

When it comes to applying and sending over transcripts itself, don’t request your transcripts first! You always want to submit your application first whether that is through the Common Application or the school’s website. If your transcript is sent over before your application, there could be a possibility of it getting lost, because the school cannot match a transcript to an application. Also, make sure you have two teachers for letters of recommendation by the end of junior year because it makes everything easier. That gives the teachers and guidance counselors you asked all summer to write your letter. Don’t wait until the deadlines to turn in your application. Be ahead of the game and “start applying in the summer and beginning of the school year. As the year goes on you’ll only get busier” said Maddie Geib, a senior at Pennridge. Make sure you have a resume ready for the application process as well as after being accepted because you never know when an opportunity will present itself. Work, join clubs, and do as much as you can to give yourself a head start before college.

As a student, I understand how stressful it can be trying to find the best fit for you in terms of college. As we all become college students, many of us will chose to live on campus and away from home, this can be stressful because you need to know what type of school setting you want to be in.  There is lots of pressure to find the best fit college, but I feel most students can be happy in a variety of schools” said Mrs. D’Angelo, a guidance counselor at Pennridge. Make sure the school you choose has the best opportunities for you and you feel comfortable there, but don’t stress to much about it being completely perfect.

If you follow these steps, utilize the resources the school give you, and are ahead of the game, you will be just fine through the college application process. Make sure to ask any questions you ever have. Teachers and guidance counselors are here to help you!