1. Social media can be used as a tool. More and more, college admissions officials are looking at Facebook pages, Google+ profiles, Twitter feeds, and YouTube videos to research college applicants, especially before admissions interviews. Use social media to display your strengths, activities, and interests. Remember: Don’t post things that you wouldn’t want college admission officials to see.
2. Your GPA holds the most weight. In college admission decisions, your GPA holds more weight than your test scores and extracurricular and volunteer activities.
3. Relationships are important. Relationships with teachers and counselors are important when it comes time to ask for letters of recommendation. The better the teacher and/or counselor knows you, the more accurate their letter will be. Choose someone who you believe will write you a high-quality letter, not just someone who is willing to write a letter.
4. SAT or ACT? It’s your choice. You do not need to take both the SAT and the ACT. Learn about the differences between the two tests and see which one is a better fit for you. Most college admissions officials say that their college does not prefer one test over the other.
5. Extracurricular activities: Quality over quantity. College admission officials look for depth and consistency in an applicant’s extracurricular activities. Get involved and stay involved in a few activities that match your interests and potential college major.
6. Undeclared? No problem. Declaring a major is not essential, in most cases. Few colleges require that a student declares his or her major during the application process.
7. Research matters. Take the time to research various schools through books, videos, blogs, social media, college tours, and information sessions. It is important to have a clear idea of why you are applying to each school.