High school students are frequently concerned about their current level of college preparation and struggle to find outside assistance. College students have also gone through the process of beginning the next chapter of their lives, having experienced both failure and success, prior to high school students applying for colleges and sharing their own experiences of either how they got into college or must-know daily hacks at college.
According to USA Today, Sydni Smith, a Pennsylvania graduate from East Stroudsburg South High School, has shared special and outstanding advice after receiving 1.8 million in scholarships and offers from 57 colleges and universities.
Smith said, “I just didn’t want to just apply to one school – my dream school – if I didn’t get in. I wanted something I could fall back on,” mentioning that she wanted to see which schools offered the most scholarships.
Smith also mentioned using the Common Black College Application – a connection that streamlines the application process for those applying to historically Black Colleges and Universities and allows students to apply to 64 HBCUs at once – and the Common App to submit applications to multiple colleges at the same time – she was accepted to 41 of the 64 HBCUs, including Howard University, Duke University, Cornell University, and Georgia Tech University.
While applying to colleges is important, so is building a resume and background for future college students.
According to US News, parents of college applicants should be aware of how standardized testing works – as the SAT score has changed from a scale of 2400 to 1600 points, where the SAT eliminated specific parts in vocabulary.
However, with the implementation of Covid-19, the admission requirement has changed to make tests optional, which means that students are no longer required to take both the SAT and ACT, and can even choose not to submit scores for college.
According to US News, most prestigious colleges and universities have the lowest acceptance rate for students – Harvard University, for example, has a 5% acceptance rate in Fall 2020, as does Stanford University.
Both college applicants and their parents must ensure that their resumes and college applications stand out from the crowd by writing compelling personal statements, obtaining strong letters of recommendation, and, of course, achieving good grades in school.
Surprisingly, few applicants understand the significance of online reputation, early admission plans, and selecting diverse colleges.
According to Toptier Admissions, 791 early applications were accepted out of 5000 applications, with a 15.82 percent acceptance rate in 2024, compared to 1032 regular decision applications accepted out of 27,836 applications received, with a 3.71 percent acceptance rate, indicating a surprisingly higher acceptance rate.
Another factor is the student’s online presence, which includes social media and a website where college admissions officers can look up information about the student. These could be as a good portfolio or a resume that reflects students’ self, but it could also harm a student’s chances of admission – depending on which updates students make.
In this case, parents must ensure that their children provide updates on their achievements, talents, and personality that may align with what students are pursuing, as well as ensure that colleges track what students are doing.
Colleges place a high value on online reputation – such as TikTok, LinkedIn accounts, YouTube, Facebook, or even Instagram or Twitter if you have one. “It’s critical to have an appropriate email address, and social media accounts should be set to private,” Christina Skeldon, a college consultant and executive functioning coach at JBG Education Group, advised. Also, if the accounts are open to the public, students must ensure that there are no photos or posts that reflect them negatively.
Personal statements in application essays are another consideration for college applicants and their families. Appealing to colleges with an outstanding personal statement takes up a lot of space these days, as the percentage of SAT and ACT has dropped due to the Covid-19 impact.
Purdue University specified some questions to ask oneself before writing – when and why the student became interested in the field that she or he is applying for, career goals, and so on.
With the impact of the Covid-19 wave, college admission requirements have been rapidly changing, causing enormous confusion and frustration among parents and students, and it is critical to keep up with college admission trends, or even make an effort to visit and communicate with college counselors.
Read more: I Made It to College! Now What To Prepare?