Choosing which Colleges to Apply for:
My main tip for choosing which schools to apply to is to follow your heart and choose the schools that have the majors you want to pursue.
Everyone gets in their heads that there are schools that they should not apply for because they believe they will not et in or they feel like they cannot go there because that is not what their parent want or they think they cannot afford it.
Even if you think you will not get in, take the chance. If you do not, you will regret it. You never know what a college is going to think about your application. You may think you are not smart enough, but your college may see something special in you. If you feel certain that your ACT/SAT scores are not high enough- continue retaking them until you are satisfied. If you think you have not been involved in extracurricular activities or volunteer services enough- join a club or go to the soup kitchen. It is never too late to be involved. Even if you feel confident in these areas but still are not certain you will get in, you have to take the chance! You never know what the application is going to prompt you to write about. Your essay could completely hook your college! For example, my college application asked a lot about why I want to pursue Fashion Management as my major so I got to talk all about my love for fashion! Another example is an essay that I wrote about my experience playing tennis for my high school my junior and senior year! You never know what your application will bring out in you, so you have ton take the chance of applying to the upper level colleges.
If you have a school or your dreams, you have to go to it. At least apply. If you are passionate about a school or major, even if your parents do not agree with it, you have to apply. At some point you have to be the one in control of your future. IT IS YOUR LIFE. If you are passionate about art and want to go to an arts school, GO. I do not care if your parents have been telling you to be a doctor your whole life. If you do not pursue a career you are passionate about, you will be miserable doing your job every day for the rest of your life. You can read more about all my thoughts on following your dreams here: “Don’t Quit your Day Dream” .
If you think you cannot afford to go to a certain college, I promise there are ways to pay for it. If you honestly cannot afford the school of your dreams, I promise financial aid will come through, at least to some extent. There are scholarships, loans, work study, grants- but none of this will be handed to you. All of these are things you must apply for and should ask your high school counselor about. You need to be looking into the FAFSA and the deadline dates for it. If this is the school of your dreams, I promise the money will come through.
I chose North Carolina State University because it is the best textiles program in a public school, and one of only four public schools with a Fashion Merchandising program in North Carolina. The other schools are Appalachian, East Carolina University, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, if you are interested.
Applying for College:
Today I am sharing all my tips for applying to college because, as many of you probably know, early application season is beginning soon and may have already begun for some schools! I recommend applying early because it shows schools that you are ambitious and dedicated to ensuring that you have a successful future by already thinking about college! It also shows the school that they are probably one of your top choices!
The number one for applying to school rule: BRAG
Colleges want to know about all the great achievements you have made! Here are some points you need to hit if they apply to you:
Participate in every club you think you might be interested! You never know what opportunities clubs can open for you or what you might discover about your passions simply by joining a club! Also, the best part, colleges LOVE to see that you are involved in extracurricular actives and go beyond the mandated school hours! Participating in clubs shows colleges that you are ambitious and passionate about following your interests. It also shows commitment and responsibility, since many clubs require volunteer services hours and have mandatory meeting.
If I were you, I would start getting involved in clubs my freshman year because participating all four years will emphasize your commitment to the program. If you have not been involved in the program for four years or discover you are not interested in the club- no worries! I would still list every club you participated in even if it was not the perfect fit for you or you found it late in your career!
Volunteering for clubs is great, but volunteering for no reason other than to help others is even better! Colleges LOVE to hear about any volunteer service you have done and how these experiences have caused you to grow as a person- so do not forget to mention the bigger service projects you have completed! Volunteer services shows selflessness and your willingness to give back!
Similar to why colleges love clubs, but sports are even better! They are probably more of a time commitment, which leads to time management skills, and also provide you will team work skills! Also, make sure to mention any awards you have received through your athletics!
Although it did not hurt me at all, I regret not talking more about my blog in my college applications. My biggest regret is not talking about it more in scholarship applications. Honestly, I did not even realize it was something I should mention as a “hobby” in scholarship applications until one of my high school teachers asked why I did not have it listed. Colleges and scholarship committees want to know about your hobbies and passions that you do not because you are required to, but because you have found something you love and are taking the steps to do it on your own. Not matter how small the hobby or interest may seem, if you are passionate about it, talk about it!
No matter if you agree or not, having a job in high school and keeping up with your schoolwork and extracurriculars is extremely impressive to schools! Not only does it show that you have time management skills, but also that you have experience working with some type of customer and are able to handle the responsibilities that come with having a job. Jobs can give you communication, time management, and other professional skills that colleges look for in their students.
If you have ever been a captain of a sports team, participated in student government, or held a position such as president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, etc. in club, MENTION IT IN YOUR APPLICATION! Colleges love to see that you have taken a position of leadership in your extracurricular activities. Also, DEFINITELY mention if you were a founder or co-founder of a club, meaning you created it! Showing a college that you were so passionate about a hobby or organization that you made a club for it shows that you are a goal getter!
College/Professional Camps/Programs you Participated in:
If you have done any special camps at colleges, especially the one you are applying for, this is an amazing thing to include in your application! I participated in STEP at the College of Textiles at NC State, you can read all about it here: My Experience: STEP, and I honestly feel like this program gave me the upper hand on my application. Not only did I know more about why I wanted to go to that college and pursue that major, but participating in this showed that I knew I wanted to go to State and that my passion for the textile industry was long term and educated!
Your GPA starts the second you enter high school classes. You should be able to look up the average GPA at the school you want to attend, so I recommend doing that but do not forger that this is the average! Your GPA CAN be lower and still accepted! Another thing you need to know is to always report your weighted GPA if it is not specified weighted/unweighted.
Make your essay personal to you. If there are topic choices, choose one you feel you can write a lot about and make your own. The purpose of the essay section is for the college to get to know you beyond your file.
Upper Level Classes Taken:
Colleges want to see that you have taken those upper level classes. In case you have not noticed, colleges love when you go the extra mile! These classes can also act as a GPA booster because they tend to be worth more points than normal classes. Another good thing about taking these courses is that you may able able to earn college credit for them! Take them and make sure to include them in your application!
These days, most colleges do not require both ACT and SAT scores. Instead, they only look at the highest score out of the two. Therefore, if you are happy with your ACT score, you do not need to take the SAT! I have more experience with the ACT, so I am going to talk more about that. Your ACT score need to be at least in the 20’s for most schools, upper 20’s/30’s for those upper level colleges. As far as I know, all colleges superscore your ACT scores. This means that instead of only looking at your total composite score, they choose the highest score out of each subject from all the tests you have taken and find the composite score of those! So basically, if you make a 26 on math and a 30 on English the first time you take it but a 28 on math and a 27 on English the second time, they will take the 30 on the English and 28 on math! They always pick out your highest score! So, if you are not happy with one of your subject scores, study that one extra hard then retake the test! That could completely change your composite score! Another thing about the ACT is that not all colleges require the Writing Test, but some do. Because of this, I recommend taking it just in case. Honestly, I never did great with this section. I do not know if it was because you take it after the multiple choice or if my style of writing is not what the ACT was looking for, but it did not end up hurting me.
You may not know what honors or chords you are going to receive at graduation, but definitely mention any you already have or know for sure you will be getting! Remember, bragging about your accomplishments is the goal!
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