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Application Process

How many colleges or universities that you applied to? How long does it take to fill up an application? Did you visit any of the colleges or universities? How early that you have to send your applications in? What are your thoughts about the college or university application and admission process?

Comments

java602's picture

How many colleges to apply to

It’s really easy to say “Oh, I’ll just apply to ten colleges, because one of them HAS to offer me a satisfactory deal.” Sure, there’s nothing stopping you from doing this, but then you’ll be paying roughly five-hundred dollars in application fees. Instead, you are better off applying to somewhere between three and six colleges. I applied to four.

You need to make sure that you apply to at least one “reach” college: a college you might get into, at least one “middle” college: a college that you probably will get into, and at least one “safety” college: a college that you are absolutely certain you will be accepted to (also know as the “backup college”). This formula provides you with a good foundation for picking which colleges are worth your time, effort, and money to apply to.

I actually ended up attending one of my “backup” colleges. This was for financial reasons, which is another thing you have to consider. Don’t apply to all fancy private schools. Make sure you apply to at least one public college that you are certain you can afford just in case you aren’t awarded as much scholarship money as you anticipated or something similar.

The important thing to remember is to make sure that you have all of your bases covered.

java602's picture

Early Decision and Early Action

There are three options when applying to college: regular decision, early decision, and early action. Early decision and early action are two completely different paths that you should consider when applying to college.

The most important aspect of early decision is that it is a binding agreement. If you are accepted to the college, you have to withdraw any other college applications you submitted. When you apply to a college under early decision, you are telling the college that you agree to attend if accepted. Personally, I do not recommend applying to any college under the terms of early decision because it leaves you no leverage for financial aid.

Early action, however, is not a binding agreement. It is early notification on whether or not you have been accepted to the college. You are not required to attend the college if accepted or to withdraw any other applications. Early action is good because it gives you more time to prepare and evaluate financial aid packages.

I applied to all of my colleges regular decision because I needed more time to organize my applications. After all, the quality of your application does ultimately matter more to colleges than when you submit it to them.

java602's picture

The Common Application

Most colleges, if not all, offer an online application. Some colleges insist on having their own, but almost four hundred and seventy have chosen to use the Common Application. Three out of the four colleges I applied to used the Common Application.

The Common Application is a really straightforward and easy way to apply to colleges, especially if you are applying to more than a couple. You only have to fill out the Common Application once. That information will be sent to all of the colleges on your list. Some colleges have additional requirements, which are outlined in the Supplement form. Also, the Common Application saves your information so you do not have to fill out the entire application in one shot. This is really important because it gives you as much time as you need to make sure that all of the information you recorded is correct. Teachers and guidance counselors can also upload their letters of recommendation to your application.

I really liked using the Common Application and I felt that it took a lot of the hassle out of applying to colleges. When you first look at the Common Application, it looks really confusing, but it is a lot simpler to fill out than it appears to be.

java602's picture

Financial Aid

Everybody knows that college is expensive, but it is really hard to imagine just how much it really costs until you receive the bill, especially if you attending a private school. For this reason, it is extremely important for every student to apply for all scholarships and financial aid opportunities that make themselves available.

Every student applying to college should take the time to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA. Even if you think that your family makes too much money to qualify for the grants, the FAFSA is also used to apply for federal students loans. If you are going to college for education, the FAFSA also offers extra financial assistance for aspiring teachers.

Most colleges will offer incoming students some form of a scholarship, assuming the student’s grades are up to par, but applying for outside scholarships is another lucrative source of financial assistance. Some outside scholarships can ever be worth ten thousand dollars.

I applied to a lot of outside scholarships and obtained a few of them. Combined with the scholarship awarded by my college and my student loan packages, I am fairly well off for my college expenses. Coming up with the money to pay for college is difficult, but it can be done with a little extra attention.

java602's picture

Application Resume

On top of college application staples like the admissions essay, a lot of colleges will require you to include a resume along with your application materials. This is typically requested by colleges that do not use the Common Application or the Universal Application.

A resume is not difficult to put together. Unless the college you are applying to has specific parameters, the resume should consist of five sections. The first section is school activities. This includes all of the extracurricular activities you have participated in that are affiliated with your high school, as well as any high school sports you have been a part of. The second section is awards and honors. The third section is community service. The fourth section is outside activities, such as Boy Scouts or Girls Scouts. The final section is work experience, which includes any paid job positions you have held while in high school. If you do not have anything to put into a particular section, such as work experience, just leave the entire category off of the resume.

The important thing to remember is to include as much as possible. Even if you only went to a few newspaper meetings your sophomore year, you can still say that you were a member for that year. Colleges are not going to scrutinize little details like that. Just avoid lying on your resume. If a college does ever decide to double-check your accomplishments, lying will only hurt you in the end.

jessi246's picture

Tips for Success in College Application

Dun, dun, dun! It’s here. The moment you’ve dreamed of since you stepped off the porch and took your first walk to a kindergarten school. The big jump, the huge dive into the unknown…

It’s college time.

But first, you’ve got to get in. Hmm… How can it be done? Here are a few simple things that I found helpful.

I found that it was very important to start early. A good time, I would say, is near the beginning of your senior year in High School. This gives you all year to get in your application and get things done, but the earlier, the better. You want those reviewers to see your application first before their brains have become numb. Trust me, getting it in early can be one of the biggest helps. Plus, then you won’t have to sweat and cry when the rest of your classmates are completing their applications later in the year!

The second biggest suggestion I have is to apply to a variety of schools. Go big, send in that application to your dream school, but don’t rely on it. You might be surprised by the school that turns you down or doesn’t give you a scholarship. Give yourself several options, but be careful. Some schools charge fees for application, so watch your funds as well. Apply moderately and to a variety of colleges, and you’ll be just fine. 

JamieS86's picture

 I agree with Jessi's point

 I agree with Jessi's point about applying early. I have seen people scrambling to finish applications the day before the deadline and, trust me, it is not pretty.

 It is also true that application fees are extremely expensive, which can keep you from applying to as many places as you want. There are some scholarships and grants specifically designed to cover application fees, so that is something to consider if you really want to apply to more than three or four places.

 I applied to three schools and was accepted to two. I ended up going to the one that offered me the best scholarship awards. Looking back, I wish I had applied to a few more places.

jessi246's picture

Jamie

Wow! I can't believe that there are scholarships designed just for application fees. That's pretty amazing, and really, really helpful! Thanks for letting us know about them. Do you know if the same applies for Graduate school? I'm already accepted to the school of my choice for my undergrad, so no more applying for me, but for graduate school I will be up to my ears in application fees. Scholarships really do help! Thanks for letting us in on this interesting fact. Where do I find these application fee scholarships?

navyatha's picture

International application

I was an international transfer student. I was told it was best to apply to FIFTEEN universities! Each one is whole different process on its own. Has processing fees and international mailing fees. So, I decided to apply to only a few universities. At last, I ended up applying to only 2 universities. I got admission in both even though I applied right before the deadlines ended. I guess, I was lucky. One university did offer me a scholarship, waiving more than half the tuition fee. But, I chose the other one because, the over feel, ranking and tuition fee were good. I guess not having a dream school did help with not being disappointed etc etc. Overall the admission process wasn't that painful for me considering I had to do it only for two. But, most of my friends have A LOT of complaints regarding the process.

Michelle's picture

Re: financial aid

Hi Java602 I was reading your article on financial aid and I couldn't agree more on the importance of applying for financial aid. Today's economic troubles have allowed for more individuals the ability to return to school with the help of financially. School financial aid is being offered at a much higher rate than ever before to the middle-aged person wishing to return to school to advance their career. If you are planning to go to college be sure to at least seek out financial aid. If you are not planning to go back to college you may want to address it because you may be able to afford it with the use of financially.

TiffanyHayes's picture

Another Option

I didn't take the traditional path into college, so I didn't have to apply to several colleges, or write an essay. (Although I have written essays for scholarships, that is beside the point:)  Some people start college later on in life, and therefore end up attending community colleges, where the admissions process is more straight forward, and less complicated. you basically fill out an application, if you are resident, sometims there isn't even a fee. there is then a checklist that you must complete, that guides you through each step of the process. After you have provided credentials, applied for financial aid, provided transcripts, taken CPT tests, and registered, you are good to go! this path was less stressful and almost guaranteed.

MaiaRose's picture

Love at first sight

I know I may be one of the minority in this, but I actually only applied to one college, and I ended up attending it. However, I was certain I wanted to attend -- my sister had gone there and I knew a great deal about the college. However, it probably would have been smart to apply to at least one more, because if I hadn't gotten into the honors program, I wouldn't have been able to afford going there.

Also, don't forget -- be adventurous! Where would you love to live? Because college is a great time to get out and explore while still having a safe home base to come back to.

onlinerewardz's picture

I apply to one college

When I was applying to college, I applied to only one college and I got admitted to the college that I applied too. When I applied to my college I was not required to write an essay. But I wrote essay in my writing skills in my SAT exam. When considering applying to a college, one must choose a college that has a very good curriculum and reputation for your major. Do not choose a school because your friend or your family member is there. Also try to choose a school that has very good sport facility so that during your spare time you can always practice the sport that you have passion and talent for. College life is one of the best period of human life, make sure that you enjoy yours to do the fullest.

Capslock077's picture

College College

 

I applied to severel colleges.  I would apply to a school that I may have wanted to go to just because they have a free application going on.  This allows you to look at things differently and see a different side of college.  Applications can vary from long to short.  I have found the longer ones are usually for schools that only accept a few applicants so they have a tighter screening porcess.  Overall choose about 5 schools and then interview with your top 3.  You will be very happy with your results.

 

betterintheory's picture

Multiple schools

Applying to several schools is key. Most everyone wanting to attend college has their dream school in mind ever since they were a child, but it doesn't always work out the way you have dreamed it. If you just apply to one school and don't get in then you are screwed. So most people will apply to a "safety" school, somewhere they know they can get in. That is a great idea, but I say to apply to a wide variety of schools, some that you know will accept you, some that might accept you, and even a couple of long shots. You never know, and you only get to go through this process once.

SarahFord94's picture

My Applications

The application process is a long one. I started mine over the summer, and I still have to finish up all of my essays. I would recommend leaving at least two months to complete the applications, especially considering that each college that you will apply to have its own supplements and essays. However, I recommend limiting the number of colleges that you apply to since you would either have to pay almost a thousand dollars in application fees, or because you only get a limited amount of fee waivers if you even qualify.

SATs are also vitally important to the application process. Make sure that you send in your scores to all colleges as soon as possible if you are applying straight from High School. Though not completely necessary, it is helpful to know what colleges you want to apply for when you register for the SAT and the SAT subject tests. I say this because collegeboard.com usually allows you to send your scores for free for a limited time. Otherwise you will end up paying quite a price to send off all of your scores.

The biggest thing though is making sure that all of your essays are done, and that you have all of your recommendations completely done. Give all of your teachers plenty of time to write their letters, and if possible give them a list of all the activities you have participated in and a list of awards you have won in High School. It’s also important to have others read your essays before you submit them. If you need any help don’t be afraid to ask because you want to make sure that your application is the best it can be. If at all possible, submit your applications early so that yours will be reviewed first and it has a better chance of getting through.

johnelsontan's picture

The Tedious Process May Be Worth It

I applied to two universities only. It would normally take 15 to 30 minutes to fill up an application; if you’re very meticulous (as such is mostly the case) it may take you an hour or so. This is because application forms are supposed to be passed clean and tidy. It would cause a lot of trouble if you made even just a minor mistake in what you wrote or typed in your form. Plus, forms are usually expensive—acquiring another one would cost you more money. Each school had a deadline for until when they accepted applications; so you’d have to research beforehand in order to acquire forms early as not to cram in the end and get stressed out.

I visited the universities only after I sent the forms, since they were far. However, I had already researched on the internet and asked around about their classes, approximate tuition fee, and their respective campuses, etc.

Personally, I feel that the application and admission process of schools in general help makes potential students be more responsible and forces them to extend themselves in order to be admitted to a school. So, since hard work is required, there is room for growth.

Tomochka's picture

I think the worst college

I think the worst college paperwork is the admission process. I started mine in the end of January-beginning of February, and I still missed many scholarship opportunities.

University of Mississippi hires many student workers to do the paperwork, and they really are not always aware of everything that is going on with admissions. Sure, they are able to handle simple admissions (recent  high school grads, dependent students and such); however, when it comes to non-traditional students (e.g. adults, transfer students, readmitted students and so on), those additional workers rarely know how to handle it, and often times give away absolutely false information. I am sure they do not do it on purpose, so my main advice would be to double check absolutely everything (for instance, I was told to get a GED?). Better yet, make an appointment with a director of admissions and know who your admission specialist is. In addition, read thoroughly the bulletin of the college you are applying to, in a long run you might find a lot of useful information in it that might save you some bucks.

I have been mislad and applied as a transfer student without any of my previous credits being transferred, I lost all the scholarships that are usually offered to freshmen. So, I am technically a freshman who really is not a freshman. Go figure! And when I asked one of the directors about it, he said “Well, the system works for everyone else, why would we change it just because of you?” Pretty insulting, don’t you think? And I have also met many more students with similar problems, with whom the system failed…

My point – RESEARCH everything well in advance and check up on your progress constantly if you do not want to end up like me.

shelbymary's picture

Apply to as many schools as possible!

I applied to eight universities: four UC schools, three privates, and one state school, all in California. I underestimated how easy it would be to get accepted into the UC system; I had always believed I would be going to UCLA or UCSB.

However, I was rejected by all four of the UCs, which I applied to (the other two being UCSD and UCI). I ended up choosing between the three private universities, although I wasn't really crazy about any of them. One of the things I regret the most about my personal application process was that I didn't apply to enough schools, and in addition, I didn't apply to the right schools. There's no point in applying to a school if you really have no intention of going there. And be sure to have a good amount of safety schools; sometimes college acceptances can be a gamble, and you don't want to gamble your future away just because you're too proud to apply to some lower-end schools.

I visited some UC campuses my sophomore and junior year in high school. Once I started getting acceptance letters back at the end of my senior year, I started visiting some of the other campuses. Visiting a college campus is an absolute must; you have no idea what to expect until you're actually standing on the site of the university. I took a free guided tour at each campus I visited, and it really helped me see what I did and didn't like at each school.

Give every school a chance, and double-check the choices you make! You're going to be there for a while, so you want to make sure you set yourself up for success during the application process.

JackieCheuvront's picture

The first time I went to

The first time I went to school I believe I applied to about six different colleges and universities. Each application took about an hour to complete with application essays, recommendations and gathering all of the required documents for mailing.

I visited three out of the six. One of the visits was just a drive through. One of the visits was a university run tour. The final university was a tour and all of the testing for the university. I sent out all of my applications in November of my Senior year, which was the recommended time period. I started receiving responses in February, along with financial-aid packages. I completed my FAFSA late; it was around April, when my parents finished their taxes.

If I completed my FAFSA earlier, I probably would have gotten more money. The process is pretty simple, if you take your time but don't procrastinate. Meet the required deadlines, if not earlier, imposed by each university.

Take advantage of the tours or other events to learn about the campus. It's so important to get to know your campus and make sure it's a right fit for you. You are spending so much money and time in one place, so be sure before you commit. Otherwise, you will find yourself with a lot more stressful paperwork, with transferring schools. 

Astepcloser's picture

I was very indecisive when I

I was very indecisive when I first started looking for a college. I was completely overwhelmed. Everyday, I would get a few things in the mail from different colleges. By the end of it all, I had nearly 2 paper bags full of letters I had received in the mail from different colleges interested in me. I thought it was a bit ridiculous!

I finally started to narrow down my college options by my (probable) major, distance from my house, price, size of the college, location of the colleges, and a few other factors. I ended up with 12 or so "Finalists", for lack of the better words. I went and visited each and every college on their visitation days.

After visiting the 12 "finalists", I narrowed it down to the Final 4 contenders. I then applied for admission at all 4 colleges. I had it in my mind that no one would accept me, and I would have to settle for some other college I didn't like as much. I applied for all of the colleges through their online applications. For me, this was much easier, and convenient for me. All the applications were free for me to fill out. I finally heard back from all 4, and to my surprise, was accepted by all 4.

After being accepted by all 4 colleges, it really started to get difficult in the decision process. I ended up dropping 2 of the schools due to location, and the amount of snow that they would get! Then, we were down to the final 2. I went on campus visits one last time, before I made my final decision.

Jay Pineda's picture

I know that some college

I know that some college students may not really know what to do when it comes to submitting your application to the Universities that you like. Ormaybe you are still confused on where do you really want to study. There are many factors to consider on choosing your University. But let's skip that part. This should be about the application process. I'll give you some tips which I learned from m own experience.

(1) Come Early! Yes maybe application starts at let's say 9 AM, but keep in mind that you want to study on that university, most probably many are

also aiming to study there. Expect that there will be many applicants, So come early so you are very sure that you will be accomodated. And if there are some problems, you still have time to solve it.

(2) Make sure your requirements are complete. There's no use being there earlyif your requirements are incomplete. If possible bring extra copies of important documents like birth certificate and transcript of records.

(3) Double check! Always make sure that the details you are about to enter/write is correct. Look for spelling errors too. Also double check the date when you are asked to go back for the next step of the process, and what things to bring.

Mboyd89's picture

College Application

My main factor in choosing a college was staying close to home, and since I grew up in a college town, it was very easy. When I initially applied to Iowa State, I had not taken the SAT or ACT yet, so I was applying only based on my grades. Unfortunately, my performance in high school was not as high as I would have liked, and my initial application was rejected. Fortunately however, my scores on both the SAT and ACT were mailed to the Iowa State admissions office shortly after my first application, and I was granted admission based on my test scores. The admission standards at Iowa State were based on two different major factors. The first was grades. To get in by merit of academic performance, a student needed only to be in the top half of his or her class. The second was ACT scores. To get in based on ACT scores, a student needed to score at least 24 on the ACT.

Between my initial rejection and ultimate acceptance, I had decided that I would try to enroll in a community college first, and then transfer to Iowa State as soon as possible. I was rather happy that I did not have to go through with this process, because it seemed to me that it would have been a much bigger hassle than necessary. 

simona-ioana's picture

fun

I applied to five colleges. I got into all of them and after that came the hard part, picking one. I had older friends at all of them but I just could not make up my mind. I had two days to choose and send my answers. 

The admission process took almost a week in which I waited breathless. Of course, for each application I had to pay a certain amount of money. That was not cheap at all and in the end I was only going to attend only one of them, and nobody will give me my money back. I read some brochures and articles, I took road trips and asked my friends about how life is at that college. I received various answers and it seemed that everywhere was just fine.
In the end I just balanced the facts, three of the colleges were based on mathematics, one on physics and the last one on literature and language. After twelve years of mathematics and physics, I chose language. In the first semester I just wanted to quit, nothing made sense and I missed the equations and formulas, but after the finals were over I made my mind. I really enjoyed that college. It was not easy to continue, I still miss the exact sciences, but literature sets my spirit free. It is much more fun.

Mercer Smith's picture

re: applying to college

Ai Ai Ai. Great point on the financial aspects! Although I applied, as you did, to one reach, one average, and one WAY easy college to get into I never considered whether I would be able to cover it. I guess that is because I was extremely privileged when it came to my undergraduate experience, but that is definitely something that people should keep in mind. I under estimate how much a private college would have cost me back then in undergrad because I went to a state school that was only about eight thousand every term.

 

In terms of application, though, it can be really easy to think super highly of yourself and apply only to really, really excellent schools. Although it is good to have high hopes, it is also important to actually be accepted and attend a college if that is the life path you have taken. For many of my friends that only applied to Ivy Leagues or incredibly fancy private schools, the time of year when college acceptance letters came out was a big disappointment. It is difficult to get into colleges. Period. Not just fancy, “name-brand” ones. So, although it can be difficult, sometimes it’s important to exercise a little humility.

java602 wrote:

It’s really easy to say “Oh, I’ll just apply to ten colleges, because one of them HAS to offer me a satisfactory deal.” Sure, there’s nothing stopping you from doing this, but then you’ll be paying roughly five-hundred dollars in application fees. Instead, you are better off applying to somewhere between three and six colleges. I applied to four.

You need to make sure that you apply to at least one “reach” college: a college you might get into, at least one “middle” college: a college that you probably will get into, and at least one “safety” college: a college that you are absolutely certain you will be accepted to (also know as the “backup college”). This formula provides you with a good foundation for picking which colleges are worth your time, effort, and money to apply to.

I actually ended up attending one of my “backup” colleges. This was for financial reasons, which is another thing you have to consider. Don’t apply to all fancy private schools. Make sure you apply to at least one public college that you are certain you can afford just in case you aren’t awarded as much scholarship money as you anticipated or something similar.

The important thing to remember is to make sure that you have all of your bases covered.

Mercer Smith's picture

When I was applying to

When I was applying to undergraduate colleges, I applied to three or four. As was mentioned in one of the above posts I applied to a "reach" school, a school in my range, and a school that I knew I could easily get into. I think I may have applied to one other as well, but don't remember exactly right now. The one thing that I do remember is how overwhelmed I was by the idea of all of the different prompts, essays, questions, files, and tests that I needed to complete to apply to each different school. Luckily the SATs are required by most colleges, so that was a given for all of them. However, all of the admissions essays/statements of purpose are different and so are the supplemental questions. The way that I managed it (and manage most things) was by making a list in order of deadlines. I organized each item from top to bottom in priority so that I could see them visually and spacially. This process really helped me. It allowed me to see all the things I still had to do, but also made it so that when I completed a task I could cross it off the list. Lists make things MUCH more satisfying than they might have been originally.

Mercer Smith's picture

re: community college

I had no idea that the process to get into Community College was so simple. I guess I had been under the impression that getting into an establishment for higher learning would be difficult no matter if it was a two-year college or university. That’s really interesting. The degree that you are working to complete (or already completed) there was still a four-year degree, correct? Or do community colleges only allow their students to do two-year programs? Obviously I am very out of the loop when it comes to understanding community colleges.

 

I think that most universities also provide the checklist that you are speaking of. It makes it much easier for the student to see and understand the individual deadlines and requirements that they are going to have to fulfill in order to be offered or even considered for acceptance. Though, from your description, it does seem like this is much easier to apply for and subsequently be accepted into. Maybe that’s what the drive for community college is other than the financial considerations. Can you be accepted into community college even if you’ve failed out of another school? If so, I could see (even more so) how that would be a very attractive aspect to many individuals.

TiffanyHayes wrote:

I didn't take the traditional path into college, so I didn't have to apply to several colleges, or write an essay. (Although I have written essays for scholarships, that is beside the point:)  Some people start college later on in life, and therefore end up attending community colleges, where the admissions process is more straight forward, and less complicated. you basically fill out an application, if you are resident, sometims there isn't even a fee. there is then a checklist that you must complete, that guides you through each step of the process. After you have provided credentials, applied for financial aid, provided transcripts, taken CPT tests, and registered, you are good to go! this path was less stressful and almost guaranteed.

lynn.dot's picture

What I did when applying to

What I did when applying to school is not the advice I would give to others, because I already knew going in 100% which school I wanted to go to. I didn't tour any schools; the one I was applying to I had been going to all my life for football games, camps, visiting my sister, etc, and I knew I was applying there. I did early decision and knew by December where I was going. If for some reason I had not been accepted I would've then toured other schools and done some last minute applications.

My advice to anyone who is NOT 100% sure is pick 2 or 3 schools, one of which being a safety/backup, and tour all the campuses. Really try and picture yourself at the school. Where you choose to go for undergraduate work is important, sort of - but I believe you will only succeed if you are actually comfortable there. If you can't picture yourself living in that area for whatever reason (too small, too big, different demographics, etc), seriously reconsider applying. Quite a few of my friends from high school transferred after their first year because they hated the atmosphere of the school.

And don't worry; if you go in one year and want to transfer, it's not the end of the world! Your first year of classes are similar no matter where you go so transferring credit is not that hard.

I've taken a couple of community college courses over the summer just to avoid taking them at university, and obviously that process is different. If you want to go the CC route for a couple years it's a great option for students who aren't sure where they want to go or what field they want to go into yet. Why waste the money on a 4 year school if you can take your early classes at a CC and transfer in?

akatuska's picture

I had an enormous list of

I had an enormous list of college and universities when I first started looking at schools, and then narrowed it way down. Once I had a manageable list, I started going on tours. I know many people who think tours aren't important, but I went on tours where the school just didn't feel right at all. There was nothing wrong with the school, something just didn't sit right with me.

I'd also look for specific professors who teach a subject in which you're interested. Talk to them and see if you can sit in on a class or two. I actually had two professors at one college vouch for me in admissions because I had had conversations with them, gone to their classes, and convinced them (not through any manipulative tactics but just by being interested) that I was a good fit for their school.

ami19877's picture

Transfering

If you are really having a hard time getting accepted into a school, I would recommend looking at a community college. I go to one, and they have a transfer agreement with the state university as well as a handful of other universities. This means you can take classes and earn credits, and they will all transfer to the other school. As long as you do well and get a good GPA, it's much easier to transfer than to apply straight out of high school. You have already proven that you are a good student and have college experience, so you don't need to take the SAT/ACT or write an essay in most cases.


It's also much cheaper. You can sign up for an associate's degree, then transfer to a four year school. If you want a Bachelor's degree, this is a great way to get the first half of your degree at a really cheap price. If the community colleges don't offer the exact degree you want, you can sign up for a similar one, then take electives and basic classes like college English and math. After you transfer, you can change your major and take the major requirements.

This may not work for all universities, but it's an option to consider.