By Judy Nelson
Getting into an American college can be challenging, so preparing yourself for what’s to come is crucial. Your application is the most important part of the process. Before deciding where you want to study and what you want to do, you must get access to this application essential package.
For example – did you know that for many colleges, your personal essay makes up more than 50% of your final entry grade? Did you know that applying through Common App ensures you higher chances of being accepted into your first school of choice?
Here are some of your most important tips about applying to colleges in Florida.
Choosing your desired method of applying
Universities might offer different methods of applying to their schools. Here are three of the most important and widely used:
- Institutional applications – that means, you are applying to your college of choice individually. You will most likely be downloading the application form and completing it thoroughly. Each university has different requirements, so you must pay careful attention to each detail.
- The Common App – this is a platform covering over 700 colleges in the U.S. and throughout Florida. You can find almost any university here and prepare one application for all. On top of your personal essay and standardized application, you’ll need to prepare an extra essay prompt (or more) for each one of the schools you’re applying for. Schools on Common App are sometimes more selective and might require recommendation letters.
- The Coalition App – this is another platform similar to Common App which includes 113 schools from the U.S., including Florida. The students get five essay prompts to choose from and a deadline as to when to complete them. You should also include your extra-curricular activities (and all other specific details) in the personal information section of the platform.
Writing your college essay
Your personal essay is a crucial part of your application, so make sure that you’re taking enough time to prepare what’s necessary. If you’re about to search I just need college admission essay help on google, that could work, but you could also prepare ahead of time to avoid the rush. In any case, there are many student paper writers who can assist you with your task and turn your application into a winner. In case you prefer to work on it by yourself, here are some of the most important steps to consider.
- Read the application instructions, don’t rush into the assignments
- Start with a catchy introduction
- Be yourself, don’t try to become someone else
- Avoid using any cliché
- Include examples that support your ideas
- Map out a structured essay plan
- Ask someone to review your work
Preparing to submit your application
- Building an accurate resume
Next, you must create a resume that stands out. If you don’t have a good resume, chances are you won’t be taken too seriously. Make sure to include everything in your resume, such as your phone number, e-mail address, etc. Your community service involvement and awards are also important, as they’ll show the school how involved you’ve been in the local community (thus increasing your chances of being accepted).
- Storing your information
Believe it or not, storing your access codes into one big folder is a must-do. You could create a general folder named ‘Universities’ and create smaller folders inside it for each college in Florida separately. Under each individual university folder, you could create sub-folders again, to keep track of each college’s: admission decision, financial aid offer, scholarship offer, housing offer, etc.
Also, if you’ve decided to apply to more than one college, make sure you write down all of your access codes into one Word document. It would be a shame to lose access to your most recent account and have no means of getting the access codes back. Also, try not to store all of this information on your computer.
- Tracking your applications
Since you will be applying to multiple colleges in Florida, you will lose track of all of your applications if you are not organized. So, make sure that you track your progress, and know which ones you’ve already applied to. Include each university’s requirements in their folder of interest, including ACT/SAT scores, your application status, the documents you’ve already sent, etc.
- Sending documents
The next step is sending the actual documents to your schools of interest. This includes your CSS Profile (which should be completed way in advance), ACT/SAT/TOEFL scores, high-school transcripts, and letters of recommendation. Make sure you take enough time to finish each part of the process, as it might take you awhile to gather all the documentation. When it comes to your letter of recommendation, for example, you should request help from your professors long before the deadline. They must have enough time to think about their letter and write it down. You cannot rush them into the process.
- Respecting deadlines
Make sure you respect all of the deadlines. Some universities in Florida might work on a rolling admissions basis, while others might have strict deadlines. In any case, don’t miss any deadline, ensure that you are on top of each of your assignment. Stay productive and work hard to get what you want.
Judy Nelson is a student activist and blogger. She is working as a freelance writer and college essay coordinator, helping students achieve academic success. In her free time, Judy likes to swim and play Sudoku.