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Tips When Applying for College

The first thing you want to do when considering a college education is do some research.
-Look up for colleges or universities that offer programs with the career you are interested in.
-Research what are the requirements to enroll in the university or college of your choice.
 When you finish your research, narrow your list to approximately four or five colleges and universities. Choose one “dream” or “reach” college, three realistic options and one “safe” school.

During your junior or senior year of high school you want to register to take the SAT or ACT, depending on the university/ college you chose. Most students take the test during their senior year, but taking it as a junior gives you the opportunity to retake it if you are not comfortable with the scores. When you register to take this test, it is recommended to:
-Apply for test fee waivers, that way you can avoid charges for the test.
-Register ahead of time.  
-Take into consideration the amount of time you will need to study for this test, you do not want to leave it until the last minute.
On the day of your test make sure:
-You are at the location at least 20 min early to check in.
-Bring an official ID card with a current photo and a printed copy of your admission ticket.
-Don’t forget to bring is a No. 2 pencil with a good eraser to the test.
There are several aids, guides, practice tests and tips available for you to prepare for this test, some of them are the following: 
Here are some dates to take into consideration:
ACT Test day:

-April 9th must be registered by March 4th
-June 11th must be registered by May 6th
SAT Test day:
-May 7th must be registered by April 8th
-June 4th must be registered by May 5th
When requesting applications for universities/colleges you must check the application costs, deadlines and preview essay questions. Try and request fee waivers for college applications too. Request letters of recommendation from your professors, counselors and people that know you in a professional setting; try to get them a month before it is due. Make enough time in your agenda to write your college essay, you don’t want to leave it until the last minute.
4. Writing your college essay

When writing your college essay, you should consider the following things:
1. Start the process early, you don’t want to leave the essay until the last minute.
2. Map it out, before you start writing your essay you want to brain storm first.
3. You want to understand what are the admissions board expectations.
4. You want to determine your essay goals.
5. You want to make yourself stand out from the other applicants.
6. You want to make it clear that you are interested in being involved at the university (e.g. joining a student organization)
7. You want to make sure you understand the essay prompt and answer it in a clear and concise manner.
8. You want to be detailed, the more specific the stronger an impression it will make on the admissions board.
9. You want to demonstrate college level skills.
10. Make sure your grammar, diction and organization are on point.
11. And the most important of all,
pay attention to deadlines!!

5.Paying for college
Paying for college is a big concern for most of us, so you want to gather as much resources as you possibly can. It is recommended for you to research all the scholarships that you qualify for and apply. You also want to apply to FAFSA.
6. Admissions Exam
Last but not least the Texas Success Initiative (TSI), this test is mandatory for all students who wish to attend a Texas public institution of higher education. After your acceptance to a Texas university you need to take the Pre-A
ssessment Module (PAM), which is a short sample of the test to help you get familiar with the format of the TSI. Once PAM is completed you may register for the TSI online or in person.

What is FAFSA and when are we supposed to apply?
-FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, it gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college or career school.
-To be considered for federal student aid for the 2016-2017 award year, you can complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) between January 1, 2016 and midnight Central Time, June 30, 2017. Any corrections or updates must be submitted by midnight Central Time, September 23, 2017.

When should I start college admissions?
-According to The College Board the best time to start is the summer before your senior year. Most students do the majority of their application work in the fall of their senior year.

In your opinion, should you go to a university where you know someone or no one?
-I think it is a matter of how comfortable you feel making new acquaintances. However, at any college or university you will have the opportunity to interact with different people and make friends.

When should I start preparing for college?
-I would recommend to start preparing for college during your junior year of high school. Do some research on universities you might be interested in, and register to take the SAT/ACT.

Should I do the basics?
-In order to complete a Bachelor’s degree, you must take your basic courses. However, you can still take courses related to your degree while you are taking those basics.

How do you know which school is the perfect choice for you?
-In order to know which university is the right fit for you, I would recommend to do some research about universities that might interest you. Look at their programs and see which one has the best program for the career that you chose to pursue.

Is it a good idea to leave your hometown when going to college?
-It is always hard to leave your family and friends when you go to college, but it is also a great opportunity to get to know yourself and become more independent.

What test scores do colleges prefer, the SAT or the ACT?
-It all depends on the college or university you are applying to, some might require for you to complete the SAT and others the ACT. I recommend to look at the requirements of the college of your choice.

Who can help me with college admissions?
-I would recommend to go to your high school counselor, they can guide you towards a college that might be a good fit for you and can help you through the application process or refer you to someone that can. I would also recommend to go to your relatives for help, some of them might have gone already through that process and they can be of great help.

How can I prevent a life-time of debt?

-You can apply for Financial Aid, apart from offering student loans they also offer a Pell grant depending on your needs. Another option are scholarships, there a many different scholarships you might qualify and can apply to.


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