For high school seniors, getting in to a good college is often a top priority. Below are several simple ways to maximize the chances of a student being accepted into the school they wish to attend.
• Be familiar with the requirements and deadlines of potential colleges. These vary from school to school, and are very important to ensure a student's application will even be considered by admissions officers.
• Maintain a high GPA. This is often what a college looks at first and places the most weight on. Having a high GPA is one of the best ways for students to stand out on a college application.
• Take the SAT and/or ACT. Most colleges require potential students to have taken the SAT or ACT. Students can register for these tests online or through a high school counselor.
• Be involved in community service and extracurricular activities that demonstrate leadership. Admissions officers often take into account what potential students do outside of school, and want to see that potential students are active in their community. However, according to Heritage High School career counselor Carol Wilson, "it is always better to be involved with two clubs, be very involved with those and do well, than to join ten and not do well."
• Maintain a rigorous class load. Rigorous classes, such as Advanced Placement, on a college application show admissions officials the potential student can handle the heavy workload college presents.
• Talk to representatives from potential schools. This can be accomplished by setting up a meeting with college representatives, visiting a PROBE fair, or simply emailing an admissions representative. These can usually be accomplished through the college's website. Be sure to represent yourself well in all communications with future schools using correct English spelling and usage and avoiding a rude or demanding tone.
• Create an account at GACollege411.org. This is a website designed to apply to colleges, explore areas of interest, calculate the cost of education, apply for financial aid, store accomplishments of interest to colleges, and more. See a high school counselor for assistance.
• Use the resources at hand. Don't be afraid to talk to counselors. They want to help their students.
• Search for scholarships and financial aid. This can be accomplished through GACollege411.org, or through a high school counselor. Beware of scammers. Any scholarship asking for money, banking information, or guaranteeing acceptance are often scams.