The college search and application process for prospective students is really picking up speed, especially for the class of 2019. Maybe you are feeling a bit overwhelmed -- sifting through all that information?
To make it a little more digestible, my admissions colleagues (who have more than 144 years of combined experience), created 100 Tips in 100 Tweets, a bite-sized list on all things college application and selection related -- from exploring campus clubs to preparing for interviews, writing your essay to understanding financial aid. Since anything worth saying is worth repeating, here are my 19 favorite bits of advice for the class of 2019.
1. As soon as you leave campus, write a pro/con list -- no detail is too minute! Do this with every school and compare your lists.
2. Consider both your social and academic "fit." Will you be challenged and "at home" in this community?
3. Learning is not limited to the classroom. What are the options for clubs, research, internships and leadership at this school?
4. The application is not an overnight activity. Give yourself plenty of time to thoughtfully craft your responses.
5. Save your work in multiple places. Keep a "just in case" document. Save copies of essays, additional requirements, resumes, etc.
6. Organize achievements thoughtfully. When listing activities, put those that you put the most into -- or that you are most proud of -- at the top.
7. Sustained involvement outside class takes on many forms. Be sure to include community service, employment, family responsibilities, etc.
8. Within the application (specifically the transcript), address areas for growth head on -- don't make the committee guess.
9. Use the app fully to tell your story. The essay isn't the only place to communicate your interests, values or how you thrive.
10. When writing your essay, focus on a blade of grass, not a whole field. Tell one good story, not a condensed miniseries.
11. Ask for recommendations well in advance of the due date. Explain why you are interested in having a certain teacher write one for you.
12. Interview tips: be honest, be yourself, be open and be thankful (send a note!).
13. Dig deep -- beyond the homepage -- for news, bios, course listings and faculty blogs that give you a sense for the full community.
14. Don't overlook little clues that may be leading you to a decision that a school is right for you.
15. Resist the urge to choose a school based solely on your major. There's a strong chance you'll change it.
16. If applying for need-based aid make sure you are meeting the app deadline and the financial aid deadline, too.
17. The most important aspect of the [Division III athlete] recruiting process is communicating w/coaches. It should come early and directly from the athlete.
18. Don't think of college as "the best four years of your life." It's a transformative four years leading to a life opportunity.
19. ALWAYS be true to yourself.