Tips for Applying to College

Written by Jessie Nolasco-Sandino.

1. Start looking for and applying to scholarships early on.

  • Most scholarships don’t have their applications available until late Fall or early Spring Semester of an applicant’s Senior Year. However, my advice is to stay actively engaged in the process.
  • Examples:
    • Reach out to the Scholarship board with questions in Junior year.
    • Have a friendly contact on the board who’ll answer those questions.
    • Routinely check updates on their websites and Facebook pages.

2. Stay organized.

  • The college application process can be already overwhelming without adding the stress of scholarship applications and the paperwork included. My advice is to stay organized with both processes from beginning to end.
  • Examples:
    • Have color-coordinated folders for each college and scholarship you’re applying to.
    • Use an agenda and colorful sticky-notes to remind yourself of daily activities and tasks.
    • Make a habit of having an active email account you’ll check daily to answer emails promptly.

3. Something I like to call CSS.

  • Commit yourself to the process.
    • Junior and Senior years are the two most stressful years of high school because of all the exams, homework and future decisions you have to do, but if you commit and apply yourself to achieving your goals, it’ll be rewarding when you make them a reality.
  • Stay positive and open-minded.
    • You may not get into your top university or receive the scholarship you really wanted, but things happen for a reason and hard work will eventually payoff. In the meantime, enjoy your Senior year and stay positive because things tend to work out for the best.
  • Surround yourself with supportive and responsible folks.
    • Count on teachers who’ll write recommendation letters and trust adults who’ll help you keep on track. Make friends who’ll accept you no matter if you end up in an Ivy League university, community college, trade school, or gap year.

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