What is the best way to get the most out of your College experience?
The best way to get the most out of your college experience is to apply to the schools that best suit your interests and objectives. Most colleges prefer students to apply online through their website, but a few still offer a downloadable paper application.
Completing Your College Application
You will be required to complete an application for each school you want to attend. Most schools require online applications, and schools that permit paper applications often charge higher application fees for processing them. Be sure to find out which your school prefers ahead of time.
Here are some key things to remember about completing your college application:
- Know your deadlines. Each school has their own deadline for admission, and certain programs have deadlines separate from general school admission. Make sure you know all of your deadlines far enough in advance to submit all of your information on time. A good way to ensure you have enough time is to gather this information 10-12 months before you plan on actually starting college.
- Honesty is always the best policy. Never lie on an application. False information on applications can lead to rejection or expulsion.
- Have your documents ready before you apply. Most schools require more than just an application and fee. Make sure you have copies of any test results, letters of recommendation, portfolios, and school transcripts ready to be sent to each school you apply to. Waiting until the last minute can crunch deadlines and affect admission if they are not received in time.
- Practice makes perfect: Make several copies of the application so that you can practice filling it out in order to avoid potential mistakes.
- If you choose to submit a paper application, be neat and use proper grammar. Do not scratch out or whiteout a mistake; start over on a new application instead. Keep food and drinks away from your application so that nothing spills on it.
- If you know your essay question, answer it ahead of time. This way you can be sure to correct any grammar or spelling mistakes and to ensure you have a polished essay.
- Prepare for possible interview or auditions. Depending on your desired major, an interview or audition may be required. The person conducting it can be an admissions officer, an alumnus, or even a student. This is often the college's first introduction to you; to make the best first impression, be sure to dress properly and let your personality shine. Answer questions honestly and politely, but do not be afraid to ask your own.
You will find that some schools have early admission policies. Applying early is a good choice if you’re absolutely certain which school you’d like to attend. Be sure to fully research all aspects of any college or university before completing an early admission application! This is not something you want to do if you’re unsure about a school, or if you’re uninformed about the institution, since early admission can often restrict or prohibit you from applying to other schools. If you are uncertain, it is best to find out about the school in more detail before seeking early admission.
Admission requirements vary by schools, so be sure to review the school’s policy and talk with an admission's officer.
- Four-year institutions will carefully review your application, and may require a personal interview.
- County colleges, which are two-year schools, generally have open admissions policies. If you have a high school diploma or a general education development certificate (GED), you are typically guaranteed admission to the county college that serves your area. (You can also attend county colleges outside of your residential county but at a higher cost.)
Some programs have additional entrance requirements. Be sure to ask each school about its admissions policies.
Going to College in New Jersey Magazine