College Admissions: A How To

Jamie McEachin
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89%  of admissions officers say they visit applicant’s social media “rarely” while only 11% say they do so “often”. And the percentage of admissions officers who say they have Googled an applicant to learn more about them has remained relatively stable over the past two years, at 29%. (Photo Courtesy of  Chris Radcliffe)

Though some students here at Cosby may have already been accepted to the college of their choice, there are still many curious and concerned students at large. Despite where a student may be in this process, the steps for applying to college are something all students should familiarize themselves with, so they may put their best foot forward from the start. Depending on which schools a student wants to attend, admissions can be stressful or relatively easy. The trick is to be prepared.

Many students might not understand that preparation begins their freshman year. Mrs. Theresa Annis, a Cosby guidance counselor says, “You are kind of preparing for collegeall through high school, so the biggest thing to tell students is to always be thinking about what is ahead, as far ahead as you can. Because as soon as you’re taking high school classes, those classes count, sometimes students don’t realize that.”

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Two-thirds of full-time undergraduate students receive financial aid in the form of grants or scholarships, according to the College Board. (Photo Courtesy of Peter Glass)

Before even applying to a school, an individual must also consider what kind of image they are broadcasting to the world through social media as well as to the schools they want to attend. In 2015, Kaplan University conducted a survey about how social media affects the admissions process and found that 40% of admissions officers visit the social media pages of applicants to learn more about them. This means that nothing should posted online that is even slightly questionable.

Extracurricular activities are also important, but the amount of clubs and sports a student participates in is not necessarily as important as the activities themselves. “Ins

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Colleges view you as a more serious applicant if they know you’ve visited. (Photo Courtesy of Chris Radcliffe)

tead of loading up on so many activities, high school students should focus on the quality of their activities,” said Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz, a professional college counselor, on She says that in terms of admissions, the important thing is for students to be “consistently involved in one, two, or three activities and/or sports over a number of years than superficially involved in a larger number for shorter periods of time.”
If the schools or programs someone is planning to applying to are far more selective, the application should be formatted in a way that highlights that person’s strongest features. “If you want to get into a school, you should go on their website and check their requirements,” said Mrs. Annis.

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The average student uses 400 sheets of paper during the college application process. (Photo Courtesy of Katie Falkenberg)

She also advises students to “take classes that are challenging to you, you don’t want to be in a class that’s just an easy A. You want to be constantly challenging yourself and going to the next level so honors classes, dual enrollment, and AP classes… which are going to be really great in preparing you for college level. Even if you don’t score a 5 on the test, you have that college experience that’s going to benefit you.”

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