You’re almost done with high school and it’s time to find some tips for applying to college. Some students have the luxury of supportive parents, peers and school councilors but some need to go it on their own. But whatever your situation, these are some helpful tips to applying to college.
Don’t be shy! It is crucial that you send this to all of the college admissions offices when you apply. So even if you’re a bit embarrassed with a few less-than-satisfactory grades, don’t try to hide it. (We know that physics class was tough.)
A+ Tip: Your school’s registrar, who is usually in charge of transcripts, often take more than a couple days to process and send out your transcript. Keep this in mind, get in the college application game early, and order your transcripts to be sent out ahead of time.
Send out your SAT/ACT scores.
College admissions officers can’t review your application without grades and test scores. Show them that you aced that Writing section like a boss!
A+ Tip: Unlike your transcript, sending out standardized test scores costs money—typically, you are charged for each school you apply. If you have more than one dream school, do the math and you might have to pay quite a bit. Find out if you qualify for a fee waiver so you won’t have to stress about paying College Board and the ACT Corporate a lot of money.
Get your AP/IB scores delivered.
You worked really hard for a whole school year on your AP U.S. History and IB Chemistry—just to pass those grueling tests for college credit. Now’s the chance to show colleges your strong work ethic and smarts…so that once you’re admitted, you’ve already got a few general ed requirements covered!
A+ Tip: Just like with SAT and ACT score-sending, getting your AP and IB scores sent out to colleges can get expensive. Before burning your wallet, check to see if you qualify for a fee waiver.
Memorize your social security number.
Those numbers may seem to be jumbled together, with no rhyme or reason, but they are crucial in helping you fill out yourFAFSA or other financial aid forms. Ask your parents for your SSN card, and commit that string of numbers to memory.
A+ Tip: Another great reason to remember your SSN? By the time you’re in college, you’re going to constantly need to recall it when you receive grants or take out loans. It’s best to start early.
Pull out your family’s financial records.
Speaking of loans, if you’re planning apply for financial aid through your school (or the FAFSA), ask your parents for their financial records, such as their income tax forms. The sheer amount of paperwork that you’ll have to sift through may be a bit overwhelming, but when the time comes to apply for financial aid you won’t be able to complete the forms without it.
A+ Tip: If you find that you’re a bit confused by the financial aid process, never fear, Zinch is here! Be sure to check out the “Money” section of this very blog, where you’ll find financial aid tips galore.
Plan your personal essays ahead.
Already know which colleges you’re aspiring to attend next year? Once you’ve got all of your high school paperwork down pat, take a look at the prompts for each of the schools you’re applying to and start brainstorming that perfect personal statement.