As another year ends for the college planning and application process, many students are celebrating their successes of getting into their dream colleges. They will begin their college studies in the fall and reap the benefits of their hard work. On the other hand, many other students will wonder why they received numerous rejection letters and fell short of getting into their desired colleges. Having worked with thousands of students over the years in the college planning and application process, there are common themes for why many students succeed while others fail. Here are the top 5 steps you need to take to ensure your college planning and application process is successful:
- Begin with the end in mind – know what the end goal is. The more clear you are about what college(s) you want to attend, the more motivated and driven you will be to get to your college destination.
- Develop a game plan that will get you to your dream college – Once you know what college you want to attend, you then need to develop a game plan that will lead you to this ultimate goal. You need to understand what the college is looking for in a successful applicant and then begin using this information to help guide your college planning strategy.
- Break your long-term goal into short-term action steps – Getting many acceptance letters senior year is about taking action, and lots of it, both inside and outside of the classroom, beginning as early as possible. Students who do well in the college admissions process are action takers who break long-term goals into bite size chunks. They also realize the earlier you begin your college planning strategy, the better.
- Become resilient – Failure and setbacks are part of the growth process in pursuing your college goals, and it’s expected. You need to push yourself outside of your comfort zone to reach your full potential. The challenges you have along the way is what will make you stronger; it’s what builds character which is what college admissions officers appreciate, admire, and look for in a successful applicant.
- Develop your passions – Successful college applicants find their strengths and passions and develop them to their fullest potential. Every student has unique talents and strengths. The college planning process is about identifying your passions, developing them, and then finding colleges that will allow you to take your passions to the next level.
The college planning process should be enjoyable, but at the same time, it should be strategic. Too many students take the college planning process in a casual and lackadaisical manner, which yields average or poor results. To be successful in the college planning and admissions process, realize it’s about having a strategy and well-thought out game plan. When you start thinking and acting in this manner, you will have much more success in the college admissions process.
This content posted courtesy of Dr. Jeff & Dr. Brian Haig
The Experts in College Planning and Student Success