Top 7 things every senior should do before applying to college

by Ardhys De Leon, editor-in-chief

Columbia Uni

Columbia University. Photo by Rita Cinquemani.

1. Research colleges and gather information on the requirements and deadlines. Seniors can go on the college board site to research school or check for deadlines on the college’s individual site.

2. Schedule college visits and pay attention to the small things like, the scenery, the food and classrooms. If unsure about where to apply, try attending college fairs.

3.  Begin to write a resume that depicts extra curricular activities, achievements and skills. Let it tell what a transcript cannot.  Check out this sample resume.

4. Most colleges require a personal essay. Therefore it’s best to start drafting the essays before beginning to apply. Here is the prompt for colleges that are on the Common Application.

5. Ask teachers for letter of recommendations in advance since most of them will be writing getting request for these types of letters from other students.

6. Try retaking the SATs for a chance to get a higher score. Look into registration deadlines for the SATs. Every college has a different SAT score policy. Some will super-score by taking the highest score of each section, while other colleges may average the score. To see the a description of the different type of policies and what each college does check the SAT score-use practices.

7. While not all colleges require students to take Sat Subject Tests, some do. Its best for students to sign up for these exams. Students can take more than one subject test in one day and are encouraged to take the subject test if they took an AP class in the subject. Here are the dates to view when the SAT Subject Tests are being given. 

For those students who are trying to meet an early decision or early action deadline but are also planning on retaking the SATs, the college board website has information regarding what exam dates are available for the 2013-2014 year, as well as when the scores will be released.

Students can find out which colleges are on the Common Application, their deadlines, fees, and additional form requirements by going on


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