What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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UCLA
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
200
800

Extracurriculars

Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Need help with college applications?

Hey, I'm just starting to work on my college applications and feeling a bit overwhelmed. Can someone please give me some tips on how to approach this whole process? Thanks in advance!

6 months ago

Hi there! The college applications process can indeed seem like a daunting task, but breaking everything down into manageable steps can make it much easier. Here's an outline to help you approach the process:

1. Create a list of colleges: Research and come up with a list of schools you're interested in. Try to have a mix of reach, target, and safety schools depending on your academic and extracurricular profile. If you're wondering what your odds of acceptance are at a particular school, consider checking out CollegeVine's free chancing engine, which factors in every element of your profile, from grades and course rigor to extracurriculars, to give you personalized chances of acceptance at each of your schools: https://www.collegevine.com/admissions-calculator. Also take note of each school's application deadlines, requirements, and any supplementary materials needed.

2. Get organized: Use a spreadsheet or calendar to keep track of deadlines, requirements, and any meetings with your counselor or teachers. Staying organized will help you avoid last-minute stress and ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.

3. Standardized tests: Many colleges have gone officially test-optional in the wake of the pandemic. However, depending on the institutions you plan to apply to, you might need SAT or ACT scores, or it might at least be wise to consider sending them. Plan your test dates and give yourself enough time to study and potentially retake if needed. If you want to read more about test-optional policies, you can find a comprehensive breakdown of them on CollegeVine's blog: https://blog.collegevine.com/does-test-optional-mean-test-optional/.

4. Letters of recommendation: Identify teachers, coaches, or mentors who know you well and can speak to your skills, abilities, and character. Reach out to them early, and provide any necessary forms, deadlines, and information about yourself to help them write a strong letter.

5. Draft your essays: Start working on your main personal statement and any supplemental essays required by the colleges on your list. Allocate enough time for brainstorming, outlining, writing drafts, and revising. Make sure you showcase your true self and avoid cliché topics or overused themes (you can read about some topics to avoid on CollegeVine's blog: https://blog.collegevine.com/cliche-college-essay-topics).

6. Prepare your activities list: List your extracurriculars, awards, and honors in a succinct, but detailed way. Emphasize your leadership skills and achievements, as well as the time and effort you invested in these activities.

7. Financial aid: Research and apply for financial aid and scholarships. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and/or CSS Profile, if required, and submit them by their respective deadlines. If you're applying for any merit-based scholarships, either though a particular college or through an external organization, make sure you stay on top of those deadlines too, and keep track of any additional essays or materials you'll need to submit for them.

8. Proofread and review: Before submitting your applications, review them thoroughly. Double-check your essays for grammar, flow, and clarity. Confirm that your application is complete and all necessary materials are included. If you want help polishing your essays, consider utilizing CollegeVine's Free Peer Essay Review Tool, or submitting your essay for a paid review by an expert college admissions advisor through CollegeVine's marketplace.

9. Submit your applications: Submit your applications ahead of the deadlines to avoid technical difficulties or other unforeseen issues.

10. Celebrate and wait for decisions: Regardless of the outcomes, you've put in hard work and should be proud of your efforts. Now, wait for those acceptance letters to start flooding in!

Take it one step at a time, and don't hesitate to seek help from your counselor, teachers, or other support systems if needed. Best of luck with your college applications!

6 months ago

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CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.