5 Commonly Asked College Admissions Questions from Students
The First Time You Apply For College, The Admissions Process Can Seem Like A Foreign Language...
If you’re about to start your college application journey, congratulations on this outstanding academic achievement! High school seniors all over the U.S. apply for college every year, and while this is an important step in every student’s career, unfortunately, many students make mistakes that are detrimental to the outcome of their admissions hopes.
In a previous article, we covered the top 10 common application mistakes that every student should avoid when they apply for college. While you should prioritize avoiding mistakes on your college applications, you should also spend some time familiarizing yourself with the college admissions process.
The best way to begin comprehending this new process is by asking questions. As it turns out, students who are new to college admissions seem to ask very similar questions regarding how to choose which colleges to apply to, why standardized test scores are important, and what admissions officers are ultimately looking for in each incoming class.
Keep reading to find out the 5 most commonly asked college admissions questions from our students!
The 5 Most Commonly Asked College Admissions Questions From Students
The college admissions process evolves every year. Whether you’re having trouble understanding how admissions officers make their decisions or what you should highlight on your application, keeping up with these changes is possible through a bit of careful research. Luckily, our team at WeAdmit has done this research for you! Whether it’s through our informative blog or one-on-one coaching with our counselors, we’re in the business of answering your questions.
The questions that most students have about the admissions process revolve around the foundation of college admissions, and understanding the answers to these questions is crucial to your success. By understanding how the college admissions process works, you’ll be well equipped to craft an application that is relevant, up-to-date, and more likely to be granted admission.
HOW DO I CHOOSE WHICH COLLEGES TO APPLY TO?
When it comes to choosing which colleges to apply to, start with research. Begin your research process with the basic questions you may have about the university like location, campus size, and maybe even the academic programs that interest you. Your goal is to discover your best fit college: the school where you will thrive the most.
When compiling your list of colleges that you will apply to, it’s important that you don’t select too few or too many. An appropriate amount usually rests somewhere between 7 to 10 colleges. Then, you’ll want to divide these choices into the categories reach, safety, and target.
These categories represent your top-choice schools, colleges that you can fall back on, and schools where your chances of acceptance are lower than average.
To kickstart your college search, WeAdmit has compiled everything you need to know about your ideal colleges through our college guides. Whether you’re curious about nationally-ranked academic programs, location, or extracurricular opportunities, our college guides have you covered.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EARLY ACTION AND EARLY DECISION DEADLINES?
We get it; the college application process has so many components as it is, why should you have to keep track of more than one deadline? Thankfully, many colleges work hard to keep you on track with your chosen deadlines, and admissions websites commonly provide applicants with cheat sheets or checklists to keep them on top of these dates.
If you submit your application under early action or early decision deadlines, you’re placing a high priority on your application and showing college admissions officers that you’re serious about attending their school.
If you submit your application under early action and you’re accepted, you’ll have to commit to that college before a certain deadline. The space of time between being accepted and officially committing to that school gives you the time to withdraw other applications or consider other offers. On the other hand, if you submit your application under the early decision deadline and you’re accepted, you’re automatically locked in to going to that school and you’ll have to withdraw all other applications immediately.
Before committing to either of these early options, make sure to consider all of the pros and cons carefully.
SHOULD I VISIT COLLEGES?
Scheduling college visits is an often debated choice in the college admissions world. Are they really necessary? With the Internet and the vast wealth of resources that exist for students today, it seems that you have access to everything you need to know before committing to a college.
Even with the wide breadth of knowledge that’s at your fingertips, by not seeing your choice colleges for yourself, you may be missing out on the things that a website can’t give you like campus culture, environment and vibe, and most importantly, the chance to meet an admissions officer face-to-face.
When you’re scheduling college visits, you’ll most likely have the added advantage of talking to a college admissions officer. Not only will you get to see the campus for yourself, but you can show admissions officers more about who you are that can’t be provided on an application.
If traveling to a few college campuses is feasible for you, there’s no harm in visiting the place that could potentially be your home for the next four years; and you’ll probably be glad you did in the long run.
HOW DOES THE COMMON APP WORK?
Many students learn about the Common App when they take a college prep class. However, until a student actually uses it, they can never truly prepare for crafting an excellent application on a platform like this.
The Common App exists to make applying for multiple colleges easier for students; it combines all the information that you would have to repeat on multiple applications. For example, instead of providing general information like your name, address, SAT scores, and extracurricular activities multiple times, the Common App streamlines all your information to be included on all your applications. Plus, for each specific college the platform automatically includes components like college-specific essays and sections for supplemental materials.
WHAT DO ADMISSIONS OFFICERS LOOK FOR IN A COLLEGE APPLICATION?
Most college admissions officers follow a holistic process when they’re reviewing college applications. Under this process, every component on your application is important, relevant, and affected by every other part.
When college admissions officers review an application holistically, they review every part of it with the same amount of focus, whether it be your standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, or your essays. However, even through a holistic review, nothing can replace impressive test scores. Admissions officers look for a balance between excellence and realness. High test scores can represent an excellent work ethic and consistency with your progress, but your essays are your chance to be honest, open, and real with the college you’re applying to; it’s your chance to show them who you are in addition to your impressive scores, so don’t neglect them.
All Your Questions, Answered
Asking the right college admissions questions is very important, so don’t assume that facts about the college admissions process are common knowledge. By asking the right questions, you’ll be well-equipped to sail through college application season and present an application package that’s polished and worthy of admission.
At first, the college admissions process can seem confusing and overwhelming, but by using the vast amount of resources available to you, you can become a pro at it in no time. Use WeAdmit’s college guides to kickstart your search and refine your list of colleges, and don’t hesitate to bring your questions to the table with WeAdmit’s professional counselors. While this article presents the most commonly asked college questions, here at WeAdmit, we know that there are plenty more questions to be asked.
So Don’t Wait; Reach Out And Get All Your Questions Answered Today!
The Perfect College Application Essay: Topics, Prompts, and Tips
At Their Most Basic, College Admissions Essays Are Personal Statements That Students Write In Order To Complete Their Application And Apply To College.
Common App 101: Tips for Applying to College with the Common App
Breaking The Common App Into To-Do List Sized Chunks...