Information provided by Kaplan Test Prep
For many students, the college admissions process starts in the fall of their junior year, when they take either the PSAT/NMSQT* or other preliminary standardized tests, and doesn't let up until December of their senior year, when most applications are submitted. Before you enter the admissions frenzy, or before you turn in those applications, get an overview of the whole process.
So Many Questions...
What is the admissions committee looking for, anyway? Is it true that if your numbers aren't high enough, your application is automatically dumped in the "reject" pile? Are schools looking for people with a two-page resume of extracurricular activities? What do admissions officers "want to hear" in your essay? Can test prep really make your scores go up, or is it just a big money-making scam? Does a fat envelope always mean acceptance?
Just about everyone who's applying to college asks these questions. The first step to answering them is to get a grasp on the admissions process--when, where, and how to apply, and how to figure out how you (and your family) are going to pay for it. Your goal is to end up with a list of colleges where you'd like to apply, and that seem like they'd be happy to take people like you.
Don't forget: go visit your guidance counselor. Guidance counselors get all sorts of great free stuff from the College Board to help them help you make good college choices. Don't know where the office is? Find out, and expand your horizons before you ever set foot on campus!