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Teen’s Perspective on College Application Safety

by Sam P. | October 30th, 2015 | School, Teens

teen girl smiling (400x400)It is that time of year.  We, seniors, are applying to college, if we have not already, and it is quite nerve wracking.  College applications (both undergrad and graduate) are a stressful thing, so it is always good to be prepared for what lies ahead.  From how many schools to apply to, to the tricks for the easiest way to apply, I have got you covered.

The application process is a tricky one.  I highly suggest using Common Application.  It makes the process far easier.  You only need to fill out the application once, and the website will send it out to every school you want that uses that same application.  If you are applying to a school that doesn’t use Common App, you’re in a bit of a pickle, but it is far easier to fill out only a few applications (Common App and the schools that don’t use it) than it is to fill it out for each school you apply to.

Several of my friends are only applying to two or three schools, a safety and a reach, possibly one additional one.  While college applications are expensive, I believe four or five is the perfect amount, maybe six.  If you are only interested in two or three schools, that is ok, too, but I personally like to have variation in where I apply to.  For me, the ideal ratio is this: a couple of local, safe schools, a couple schools that are a middle distance away, and one or two far away schools.  Whether or not you want to put in reach schools is up to you.  I personally am not, but purely for financial purposes.  All of the schools that would have been a reach for me are far out of my price range, and I prefer to apply to more that I know I will get money from and will be able to afford, rather than wasting money on an application.

After you hear back from schools, visit them again, if you already have.  If you haven’t yet, do so now.  It is very important to know where you will be before you pick your school.  The only exception to this is a military academy. (With all the work involved in the application, you know you want to go there.)  The only school you probably don’t have to tour is your safety school.  Chances are it is close to home so being in a foreign place is not on the top of your worry place for that school.

Then, you need to consider the cost of each school and how you’ll pay tuition. If you’ll need help paying, be sure to see what your options are for undergrad and graduate student loans.

As for choosing your college, I cannot help there.  The only advice I give is to pick somewhere you feel comfortable.  Go somewhere that makes it difficult to come home every weekend so you can start to become more independent, but still some place that you will be able to come home for a long weekend and breaks without it costing an arm and a leg to do so.

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