Almost everyone experiences anxiety about applying to college. As the top programs become increasingly difficult to gain acceptance to, the application process gets more and more stressful for hopeful high school students. There are a number of ways you can help give yourself an advantage when it comes time to apply if you know what to prioritize. Fortunately, there are resources available both on and offline to help ambitious students make a plan to get into their dream schools. If you’re preparing to apply to college, keep reading for tips on how you can get into the school of your choice.
How can you get into the college of your choice?
While there’s no one-trick or strategy that can guarantee acceptance to your dream school, there are a lot of steps you can take as a student to give yourself the best possible chance. While grades are important, remember that colleges will look at the relative difficulty of your coursework. This means that slightly lower grades in challenging AP classes will be more impressive than maintaining a 4.0 by taking classes that are easier.
It can be a major benefit to participate in a National Honors Society High School. One example of an honor society you may qualify to be invited to join is the National Society of High School Scholars. NSHSS provides access to scholarships and resources that can help you advance toward your educational goals. Outstanding high school students can qualify through a few different academic metrics and take advantage of the unique opportunity to join NSHSS.
A professional tutor can also be a wise investment for anyone set on attending a particular school. Even the best students may not know the ins and outs of the application process. A tutor can tell you exactly what you need to do to impress the school you want to attend. If you struggle with standardized testing, a tutor can also help you study for the SAT or ACT.
What can you do to improve your odds of grad school acceptance?
Many students begin looking for full-time work immediately upon completion of their bachelor’s degree. However, for many careers, more advanced schooling is necessary. There are a wide variety of graduate school programs out there in almost any field you can imagine, so the requirements can vary significantly. The field you’re going into can also make a significant difference in the application process.
Behavior analysis is one example of a field that requires a master’s degree. Applied behavior analysis (ABA) uses the principles of human behavior to help people develop social skills and improve their lives. Behavior analysts typically work with individuals who have autism and other learning disabilities who may need special education. Getting into the top ABA master’s programs requires a strong academic background and demonstrated interest in the field. You’ll also need to pass your Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) exam after the completion of your ABA program.
Keep in mind that many undergraduate and graduate programs are changing their admissions process, especially in light of COVID-19. Some schools are waiving or permanently eliminating standardized testing requirements for tests like the GRE, while others are accepting fewer students. Research how degree programs may have adjusted their requirements before working on your application.
Getting into a top college can be difficult, with acceptance rates continuing to drop. Hard work is essential, but resources like honors societies and additional tutoring can be the difference between acceptance and rejection. For some students, a bachelor’s degree is only the first step of their education. Many students go on to obtain a master of arts, master of education, or master of science degree in their chosen field. You can even work towards an online master’s degree, which will allow you to pursue a career while you continue your education. No matter what your goals are, you’re more likely to succeed if you start to plan early.