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Research
Get to know the colleges on your list.

Get to know the colleges on your list.

Why do you want to attend the colleges on your list?

Colleges want students to contribute to campus life, and every college is different. Think about how you match up with what they have to offer. There is something special about each school. It’s the reason you want to go there. Try to identify it.
 

Here's an easy test  

If a college admissions officer asks you why you want to attend their college, and you say...

a) It's on the Best Colleges Ever list.

b) My friend goes here.

... then you have more research to do.

Learn details about each college before finalizing essay topics.

 

Here's why – essays help demonstrate why you're a good fit. And you won't know if you're a good fit without research. In other words, what makes them tick? What makes you tick? And where do you intersect?

 

The goal is not to "please" a college with your essay by turning yourself into something you are not. Instead, you are trying to discover what excites you about being a student at each school, so that you can choose the best topics and focus in your writing.

Assignment #5

DIRECTIONS: Choose several options below (or all of them!) to help you determine whether you and the colleges you love are a good fit.

 

  • Tour campuses when you can, and take notes. Those notes will help you remember relevant information later on, especially while writing supplemental essays.

  • Research online. Browse college websites and go on virtual tours. Read mission statements and pay attention to their core values. Compare your stats to each college's freshman class academic profile.

  • Attend information sessions at your high school. Introduce yourself to visiting college reps, and take their business cards. Ask questions and follow up via email.

  • Investigate individual majors, academic degree tracks, and all requirements for admission. 

  • Research classes and professors that interest you. Look up the names and descriptions of classes they teach, and books or articles they may have written.

  • Reach out to current students on social media. Ask them about a typical day, academically and socially. Find out if they offer campus sleep-overs. Check in with the college career center to learn about services regarding internships and careers.


Imagine how you will engage in available opportunities at each school. This is the time to be proactive. 

Review. Now you know about each college in depth. Organize your research. This information will help you narrow your focus while writing essays. 

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