College Application Tips, Don’t Fall Behind

As the first semester comes to a close, the pressure of college and what the future holds can become overbearing for seniors. Wondering what should be done and what is next is stressful, so here’s a small rundown of what seniors need to do so they don’t fall behind. 

First and foremost, seniors need to take the SAT, ACT, or TSI. Unfortunately, there are no upcoming SAT test dates, but there is ACT testing February 8, with a January 10 registration deadline. Anyone planning on taking these tests can find study books at almost any bookstore or online. There are also free test prep websites such as Khan Academy and Kaplan Test Prep. Studying for the test is time consuming, but both websites claim to boost the test scores of students who use their recommended study schedule significantly. 

While studying for whichever test seniors plan on taking, colleges have to be considered. Most colleges accept either the SAT or ACT, but admissions requires specific scores in order to accept a student. It is essential for students to know where they want to go and the minimum scores required at that school, as well as back up plans in case they don’t get into their first choice college. College Board has a college search option to help students find their perfect match. Seniors can be as selective as they want as they provide 10 different filters with multiple subcategories for each one, including minimum test scores required for admissions and their selectivity. 

After taking the test and getting their scores, seniors need to start applying. If they haven’t already, finding colleges with deadlines that haven’t passed may be difficult. Remembering college deadlines is extremely important for seniors as colleges don’t accept late applications. Seniors need to be on top of deadlines and focus on finishing applications on time. Most universities in Texas use ApplyTexas.com for their application process, which includes their deadlines. 

College banners hanging in the college and career center. Photo by Jessica Harden.

After sending in applications to multiple colleges, seniors need to send test scores and transcripts. Colleges cannot admit students without their scores and transcripts. For the SAT or ACT you go to their respective websites and follow the provided there. In order to send transcripts seniors need to speak to their counselors in order to get the order form with the steps, but the website to order and send them is https://neisdtx.scriborder.com/

Seniors should keep in mind that registering for tests, sending college applications, sending scores, and sending transcripts all cost money. If a student has free or reduced lunch they can talk to their counselor about getting waivers for all of the above. The entire application process is stressful and confusing, so seniors should talk to their counselors if they have any questions as well as visit the college and career center. College is an enormous step in the future careers of all students and they should never feel lost in the process.

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About Jessica Harden

Hey, I'm Jessica Harden and this is my third year on staff. I am the editor-in-chief, I compete in academic UIL journalism, and I am a nationally recognized journalist. Outside of newspaper, I play the flute and I am the drum major. I like to write poetry, I collect vintage cameras, and I dream of being a published author one day. I will attend UT Austin in the fall majoring in journalism at Moody College and I plan on taking a minor in environmental science. Hook 'Em!

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