Where are you going?
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 your essay topic.
The goal is not to "please" colleges with your personal statement by turning yourself into something you are not. Research leads to clarity of purpose.
Check out college websites to see if they offer specific essay advice. What do they emphasize?
Review their supplemental essay questions. What topics will you be covering? Keep them in mind before choosing the focus of your personal statement. Avoid repeating topics that will be addressed elsewhere in your application.
Directions. Be curious. Get active. Choose options below to help you determine whether you and the colleges on your list are a good fit. Create a system for organizing information.
Research online (and visit campuses in person when you can). Browse college websites and go on virtual tours. Check out youvisit.com and campustours.com. Read mission statements and pay attention to their core values.
Attend virtual rep visits and information sessions offered at your high school. Prepare for each college presentation by doing initial research on their website. Follow colleges on social media to learn more about their programs and students. Ask relevant 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. Investigate their online presence. Search on YouTube for lectures.
Check in with the college career center to learn about services regarding jobs, internships and careers.
Review. Now you know about each college in depth. Organize your research. This information will help you narrow your focus.