Get Into College Using These 6 EASY Steps

The college admissions process is a pain…BUT it doesn’t have to be. All you have to do is follow these 6 simple steps and you can successfully learn how to get accepted into college.

Ready? Great…let’s get started:

Step #1 – Is A Traditional College Right For You?

A lot of students view college as a natural progression after high school. Before you start the college application process, take some time to think about what career fields you might be interested in. While a lot of careers will require a traditional college education, there are many that do not.

For example, if you want to be a doctor, lawyer, accountant, engineer, teacher, or something similar – then it makes perfect sense for you to attend a traditional 4-year university.

However, if you want to become a hair stylist, electrician, medical assistant, chef, or something similar – then it makes sense for you attend a different type of program where you can get the specialized training that’s necessary to be successful in those professions.

Regardless of what you’re interested in, now is the time for you to start thinking about which career and type of college might be a good fit for you.

Step #2 – Get Others Involved.

You don’t have to go through this process alone. Discuss your college options with your parents, counselors, teachers, and classmates. They can help you weigh all of your options. Trust me… there are a lot of options to consider. You’ll want people around you that you can trust to help you figure out which colleges or other programs that you should be applying to.

Step #3 – Make A List of Schools.

Once you’ve figured out the type of college or program that will work best for your given career interests, now’s the time to make a list of places that you want to apply to. During this step, feel free to put as many colleges on the list as you want. (We’ll revise this list in the next step.) The purpose of this step is to identify all the colleges, universities or other programs that offer training in the specific career field that interests you.

Step #4 – Revise Your List.

Now that you have a list of potential schools, it’s time to narrow it down to 4-7 options. However, there’s a specific format: 1-2 “long-shot” schools; 2-3 “target” schools, and 1-2 “safety” schools. To keep this simple, long-shot schools are schools that you’re not sure if you can get into, target schools are schools that you feel pretty good about getting accepted to, and safety schools are schools that you’re 98% sure you’ll get accepted to.

Step #5 – Apply.

Your senior year of high school will be hectic – you’ll have to manage the college application process along with everything else you have going on –  homework, your job, extracurricular activities, sports, etc. Therefore, you have to pay close attention to application requirements and deadlines. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to write you college admissions essay or ask your counselor for that college recommendation letter.

Step #6 – How Much Is It Going To Cost You?

In order to figure out how much it’s going to cost you, you have to calculate the COA (cost of attendance). This calculation includes the following 4 items: Tuition & Fees; Room & Board; Miscellaneous Personal Expenses (i.e. laundry, cell phone bills, etc.); and Travel (i.e. the cost of traveling back and forth from school and home).

Once you have this calculation, deduct this amount from the financial aid you received from Federal Student Aid as well as another other private scholarships or college funds you’ve received.

If you follow these 6 steps, then you should be able to successfully navigate the college admissions process.

Good Luck!

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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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