Is College A Stretch?

Not everyone can be a straight-A student with an outstanding list of extracurricular activities and test scores to boot. Some of us have trouble with tests, are distracted from school by outside forces, or are hit by problematic events. Sometimes we can’t give our education our all; which can reflect badly onto our college applications and make the entire process an all-around more stressful venture. After all, when there are so many other applicants who could have better grades, better essays, more extracurriculars… Why would a college pick you? It’s hard to see the person behind the fine print and test scores can be all too misleading.

Life happens, no one can deny that, and it shows no regard to your goals or future. So if you’re sweating over your application, or worrying that you won’t be good enough, here are a few tips that I’ve found helpful through the whole process.

Flickr MC Quinn

Flickr MC Quinn

Apply to as many colleges that fit with your criteria. It doesn’t matter if you think it’ll be a long shot; you’ll never know until you try. My dream college was a long shot and I ended up being accepted in the end much to my disbelief and happiness.

Communicate with your admissions counselor. There is no one who can help you more than your admissions counselor; I cannot stress that enough. Even if you simply shoot them a quick email asking about the status of your application or regarding a question that just hit you, take a couple seconds and do it. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I applied but all of the different admissions counselors were more than willing to help. In case you don’t believe me when I say that they can make or break your acceptance or denial, I’ll tell you about my experience.

When I applied to The University of Findlay I was put on a watch list due to my lower GPA. The admissions counselor told me that my SAT scores were well above their minimum but my overall average was my problem. She also told me that I could give her any other information I thought might be helpful that she could bring to the board viewing my application. So, I told her about my battle with anxiety and depression that had more than affected my grades, and she was more than happy to give it to the board. In the end, it was that that ended up winning them over so if you’re debating whether or not to talk to your counselor please do so. It will only help you, I promise.

Keep your grades up. If you’re in senior year it is critically important not to slack. Those grades still count and are taken into consideration, so if you’ve had a bad track record previously, now could be the time to show colleges that you’re ready for the challenges it will bring. If you’re not, the same still applies. Your test scores, your GPA, your extracurriculars and more will be under scrutiny and it’s important to give it your all.

Don’t let discouragement keep you down. People will try to prepare you for a potential fall, you above all most likely, but it’s important not to let your doubts get in the way of applying or talking to your counselors or even your family. Yes, there is a chance you’ll get a letter that doesn’t hold the answer you’d wanted, but there’s also a chance of the opposite. Don’t let the possible downside keep you for possibly achieving your dreams.

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