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4 months ago
Admissions Advice

No idea where to start

I have a GPA higher than 3.5 but I don’t have specific ideas about the whole process of applying for a US university. I need some guidance to lead me to a better position.

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2 answers

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4 months ago

It depends on what you want. Usually the process goes by starting with writing a school list. Narrowing them down is not so daunting if you do so by eliminating schools due to location, if they offer a variety of majors that seem interesting to you, price, and how selective you would like it to be. Although do keep in mind to make it realistic. You seem to have a good GPA so you should have a decent chance at selective but non Ivy schools. You can then narrow the list down even further by seeing which have things you would like but aren't a deal breaker, like if they have fun clubs or in my case study abroad and lots of language minors.

After you have a list and have a favorite (also depending on your grade) you can see if there is anything you can do to improve your chances. I'm going to be a senior so I have all summer to try to improve my EC's as personally that is what is lacking for me. I will also start drafting my essay so I'm less stressed in the fall. My goal is a selective non Ivy so I am going to take two AP classes since my school doesn't offer many to demonstrate rigor which they like to see.

I would also make a common app account now as most schools use it, after you make the account you should go through it and see what it asks. Most is personal and family information. You can also add the schools you like. I would also read the essay prompts and start thinking of ideas for your essay.

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4 months ago

So a short list that doesn’t have a lot of details is

Determine the type of higher Ed you want to attend. This could be trade associates or 4 year.

Then presuming you want a 4 year school narrow down the list to have a maximum of 30 schools. This should likely be done from location(city v college town) majors and facts such as teacher ratio etc.

Then you should verify that the list you made is schools you want to apply. This step would look at the the intangibles such as campus environment (party school religious diversity etc).

Then make sure that the schools aren’t financially unavailable to you. Net price calculators run by each school is the best way for this. Remember finicial aid as list price is almost never the price paid. Look at 100% need met schools for example.

Once you finalize your list you should have a good viarety of schools. However make sure the schools arent completely out of reach. If you are a 4.0 student council president and interned at Apple apply to all of the I USS but if you are a 3.7 GPA maybe apply to no Ivies it just your top 3 Ivies. Remover application fees. Additionally include at least 2 schools that are on the low side of your budget that you’re highly likely to get in. These may not be your top choice but should be schools that you’re happy to attend. This typically is a non selective state school. For people in Seattle this may be Washington State.

Then knowing the schools uou want to apply to find out what application forms they accept. Common ones are CommonApp and Coalition application. Some schools don’t use either so you have to apply with that one. Then you go through the application process with rec letters essays (if needed) and other aspects like getting transcripts and other items. Then you’d submit it. Google and Youribe have a bunch of content as well as blogs.CollegeVine.com. Another great resource is the CollegeVine downloadable PDF on the application timeline.

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