The college application process can be very challenging and stressful for students, especially for graduating Seniors who are counting down to a deadline. If you take a step back and take a deep breath, it’s actually quite simple. Just stay on task, give yourself enough time and do not, we repeat do not, procrastinate.
From the NIS Today graduating Seniors to next year’s graduates, here are a few tips and tricks to make the process smoother and easier for you as well as the High School Office and all those wonderful teachers you’ll be begging for a recommendation letter.
- Whether your planning to apply to colleges in Egypt or abroad, make sure that you give it 100% because Admissions offices can always tell who has made the effort and who hasn’t. Putting 100% effort is always the target.
- Make sure you give yourself enough time by starting the process early. Why not finish applying with time to spare?
- Don’t just follow the crowd. Do not apply somewhere just because your friends are going to a specific college. Make sure you choose a college that offers what you are looking for and is a good match for you.
- Although you may feel pressured, do not stress over it. Instead, make that pressure the source of your motivation; make it the drive that keeps you going.
- Make sure that you include any extracurricular activities or awards. You should have started putting your academic CV together since the 9th Grade. If you haven’t, start writing now! It’s always good to point out your achievements throughout high school. Be sure to include every conference, every athletic recognition, every club you joined, every Honor Roll list you made; everything.
- The best way to tell your story is by writing a personal, thoughtful essay about something that is meaningful to you. Be honest and genuine as you write and your outstanding qualities and talents will shine through. You also want to make sure that you demonstrate your knowledge about the university you’re applying to. Do your research. Don’t just tell them you want to attend there because “they’re great” or “they’re the best”. Show them you know their strengths, their ranking, their outstanding alumni and their contribution to the community and the world.
- Give someone else a chance to talk about you! Ask your teachers, administrators or coaches to write letters of recommendation. Heads up: To get a good letter, you need to earn it. Teachers and administrator will be reflecting on your entire academic career [the good, the bad, and the ugly]. Make sure you stand out in class as a role model student. Stay out of trouble. Shine on!
Here is a checklist we recommend you follow:
- Start early on your essay and write several drafts.
- Ask for constructive criticism from others, and be open to it.
- Don’t just recount – reflect!
- Apply to several universities.
- Ask for letters of recommendation well in advance and do it formally, through email.
- Prepare all your documents.
- Check your deadlines and make sure you meet them.
- Last but not least, be yourself…any college would be lucky to have you!