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Going through the college admissions process can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. Knowing the college admission requirements will help students successfully complete everything needed to apply in the time frame allotted. Most undergraduate schools have the same requirements, but some schools differ.
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Senior Year of High School
If the school has AP courses available, try to take a few of them, specifically those pertaining to your desired major. This is time to start visiting some campuses where the student wants to apply. Get to know the school, meet with students, professors, and other staff. Ask questions. This is the time to learn about any special requirements in their admissions process.
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Acquiring all applications early is essential, so the student has time to fill them out properly and obtain all required documents to send along with them. To obtain college applications, students can print them off of the college or university's website, visiting the school's admissions office in person, or through their high school counselor.
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College Admissions Essay
The college admissions essay is one of the most crucial admission requirements. Many students make the mistake of putting this essay off to the last minute. It is crucial to take at least two months, preferably three or four, to really work on and write this essay well. It is important to fully analyze and answer the questions. Write a rough draft first. Just get all of the thoughts and ideas on paper, organize the thoughts and ideas into a good flowing order, then proofread, proofread, proofread, and proofread again. Have a parent, counselor, and teacher read it. This essay should be the most polished and thoughtful essay the student has ever written.
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ACT or SAT
Most schools require students turn in scores for at least one of these tests in order to be considered for admission. These tests should be taken very early during the student's senior year of high school. It is important to begin studying for these tests at least six months in advance. Set aside a minimum number of hours per week, at least ten is preferable, and create a study schedule. Always stick to this schedule. Every two weeks take the timed practice tests to assess how much has been learned and what topics require the most study focus.
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Letters of Recommendation
Not all Associate and Bachelor degree programs require letters of recommendation, but many do. It is important to learn if the school the student is applying to requires these or not. If the school does require them, get recommendations from teachers, school counselors, job managers and supervisors, internship managers and supervisors, and upstanding members of the student's community.
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Mail in the Applications
Now, it is time to get those college applications mailed. Before mailing, be sure to look over them one last time to ensure they are properly and completely filled out. The high school counselor can help to ensure everything is filled out correctly and entirely. Make sure everything that should be sent along with the application is in the envelope. Once everything is in and sealed, ensure the correct address is on the envelope.
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- Some undergraduate programs will have additional college admission requirements. Students may need to fill out their FAFSA early. Loan applications, if using a private financial institution, should also be started. Ensure all high school transcripts are sent to all schools, if the they require the student to initiate this process. If the college or university requires pre-admissions testing, this must be scheduled and completed on time.
- Students planning on participating in collegiate sports must find out when tryouts and practices begin. Students must also attend both academic and athletic orientations.
- Students must ensure all application and other fees are paid on time.
- Some students must take the TOEFL.
- Some schools require students to complete a supplemental application before they begin the admissions process.
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In the end, college admissions requirements are in place to ensure both the student and school are a good fit for each other. This is why it is crucial that all students follow them perfectly and complete them thoroughly.
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