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  • Writer's pictureEloise Robertson

College Application Tips

As the school year comes to an end, seniors have their eyes set on college and the rest of high school gets ready for another year. Juniors may be feeling the stress of college applications, so here are some tips as you begin the arduous process.

When making a list of possible colleges some important things I considered:

  • Size of School

    • What size do you want? Big state school v. small liberal arts college?

    • When looking at size, look at student to faculty ratio, gender ratio, and undergraduate v. graduate.

  • Location

    • What region do you want to go to? West coast? East coast? South? Midwest?

    • Would you rather have an urban or rural campus? What is the university’s proximity to a city?

  • Majors

    • What are you interested in studying?

    • Do you want a more research strong university or do you want a smaller liberal arts college?

    • What kind of internship opportunities are there?

  • Student Life

    • What clubs and organizations are you interested in?

    • What is the atmosphere on campus?

    • What sports are you interested in? Do they have intramural sports? What division are they?

  • Food and Housing

    • How many years do they offer housing?

    • What are the food reviews?

Advice from current seniors:

“Everyone says it, but start your essays early! Ask teachers and friends to read and edit them. Spending the time will ensure that the voice you’re sharing with the admissions office is thoughtful and authentic.

I’d also suggest finding someone who doesn’t know you well to read your essays. Hearing a stranger’s feedback will tell you what story you’re going to be sharing with the admissions office.

You always want to know that you’ve shared your best writing with these colleges. It’s a tiny bit of a confidence boost.” -Jamie Saito, Brown University

“Apply to Hawai’i scholarships! Even a little bit goes a long way.” - Hana-Lei Ji, Northwestern University

“Start early and be sure to research thoroughly before you apply” - Zoe Spikerman, University of San Francisco

“Do early decision or early action, it will save you a lot of stress and you will be done early.” -Jenna Blevins, University of Portland

Advice from Aunty Joanie:

“Right now Juniors should be researching colleges in depth and putting together their list of colleges they are going to apply to. They should have already had 2-4 meetings with me and I should have already met with their parents. Juniors should be doing virtual college tours at every school that ends up on their list and also participating in the virtual information session at each school. All of these things are universally more accessible to everyone because of Covid. For some, applying Early Decision or Early Action is appropriate and a good thing to do, but now is the time to decide that so when you return in the fall you can hit the ground running. I will be here working all summer so I highly encourage juniors to come in and work with me on their essays, when things are nice and mellow around here.”

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