By Ryan Laspina
Senior Specialist, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS
Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to start or return to college in 2017? The benefits of attending college are easily found with a quick Internet search, but actually going through the process of finding the right school and applying takes work. But there are ways to make the process easier.
Narrow Your College Choices to Single Digits
There are many schools out there that offer vastly different benefits and drawbacks. Ask yourself certain questions about what type of learning environment would suit you.
Do you want to attend a traditional brick-and-mortar school or go to school online? Do you want to go to a prestigious four-year university that will cost a fortune or do you want to start off at a local or online school that is less expensive? Try to get your choices down to nine schools or less (five would be ideal) and focus on applying to those schools.
Research the Admissions Requirements and Know Your Due Dates
Make sure you take plenty of time to research the admissions requirements at each school in which you’re interested. Some schools require certain standardized test scores, an essay or application fees.
All of the application requirements are important to know and understand, but the most important piece of information to understand is all of the due dates. You must meet all due dates to successfully apply to your chosen school.
Apply As Early As Possible
Apply early to give yourself a long time to figure out your financial aid situation. Remember to fill out a FAFSA if you wish to utilize Federal Student Aid!
Applying early also has a psychological benefit, because it will motivate you to fulfill your goal of starting or returning to school. If you apply to numerous schools early, you may get an answer back about your acceptance sooner and be able to plan accordingly.
Be Truthful and Unique with Your College Application
When you fill out a college application, the main thing to remember is that you need to be truthful. Universities understand that everyone learns differently. Expound on your uniqueness without exaggerating or fabricating your accomplishments, goals and purpose.
Now is the time to start planning for your 2017 classes. The college application process can be stressful, but when you’re proactive and pay attention to deadlines, the process will be smoother.
Remember to think everything through, meet or exceed all deadlines and due dates, and be open and honest with each university. Make 2017 a year of accomplishments!