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What advice you would give to a teenager worried about college admissions ?

I feel like I’m super unprepared for college and I don’t have enough credits or extracurriculars to be seen as a desired applicant for a school. I have good grades

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

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Alison’s Answer

Hi! I think that your concerns are very common. In fact, I felt the same thing as you. My advice would be to apply to a wide range of schools. For example, apply to some safety schools, target schools, and a couple reach schools. This way, you do not put all your eggs in one basket. Also, I think it is important to note that colleges want to take you because that is how they make money. Ultimately, be confident and do not sell yourself short because there are thousands of schools in the United States and a variety of great opportunities to explore.
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Tiarra’s Answer

I was in your same situation, focus on your goals and aspirations, as well as any interests you may have that can serve the place of extracurricular activities. For instance, I was a History major and a part of my interest is genealogy, so I mentioned that I spend time tracing my family history because colleges are interested in who you as a person. Focus on any academic rewards or recognition you have received because that will also garner their attention. Explain how you are a dedicated student who aspires to achieve your goals and that your grades and academic record serve as proof of your dedication to hard work, research, and the institution. Some schools value grades over extra-curricular activity because you can show that you are a focused student, not one who is only interested in partying or activities. Explain to the school that you are serious about your education and value attaining an education that will allow you to achieve your dreams.
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Alicia’s Answer

Cast a broad net and apply to a lot of caliber places. Definately you want 1 or 2 sure shots. Then apply to a school that is a dream. Last apply to schools you want to go to that are competitive. You will certain get accepted to the sure shots if you have good grades. The others will probably surprise you. You can count so many things as extra circular activities. Do you have a job? Do you have a large family responsibility like a farm, family business, or lots of little siblings, a special needs sibling? Do you live in an underserved area where there are not a lot of opportunities for that kind of thing? Do you help at a church or community group? Have you had to overcome a learning disability?
The goal is demonstrate, flexibility, challenge, grit, work ethic, those types of characteristics.
I will advise with the rising cost of education be wise and have a financial plan for college. Even if you get into your dream school but it is 100K per year and you have no idea how you will pay for it; that would not be a wise choice.
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NANCY W’s Answer

All the answers I've read are good thus far. I would add that, if you have a community college near you that is solid, also consider starting there. I'm not sure about the community college landscape in Ohio, but if it's a good one, starting at a community college can be an easier, smoother transition into the change in responsibility and performance expectations that come with post-secondary life. If your grades are good, getting in should not be an issue. What community college can provide is a way to ease into fully carrying the responsibility of your education on your own shoulders. The first two years of college are pretty much the same since, in most cases, you would not declare a major until your sophomore year. That allows you to really feel what going to college is like, both physically and emotionally - i.e., getting around to different classes in different buildings; managing how you spend your time outside of classes, especially study time; seeking help without someone pushing you to do it...and more! These are the intangibles that are different from high school that starting at a community college can help you adjust to with a bit less pressure. Community colleges also tend to be less expensive per credit hour, which can also provide a bit of financial stress relief. Additionally, there may be articulation agreements with a community college and 4-year colleges or universities that would allow all of your acquired credits to easily transfer.
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Anahi’s Answer

1. Focus on your strengths: Highlight your unique qualities, talents, and achievements in your application. Emphasize what sets you apart and makes you a strong candidate.

2. Be proactive: Take the initiative to engage in extracurricular activities, volunteer work, internships, or part-time jobs that align with your interests. It demonstrates your passion, commitment, and dedication beyond academics.

3. Balance your workload: It's important to maintain good grades, but also remember to pursue activities you enjoy and take care of your mental and physical well-being. Strive for a well-rounded approach rather than solely focusing on academic achievements.

4. Seek guidance and support: Reach out to your school counselor, teachers, or mentors for advice and assistance with the college application process. They can provide valuable insights, review your applications, and offer guidance based on their experience.

5. Research and prepare: Explore different colleges and universities to find the ones that align with your interests, goals, and values. Understand their admission requirements and deadlines to plan your applications accordingly.

6. Be genuine and authentic: Avoid the temptation to present yourself as someone you're not. Be true to yourself in your application essays and interviews. Admission officers value authenticity and want to know the real you.
Thank you comment icon Great breakdown, Anahi! NANCY W CAMPBELL
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Molly’s Answer

Hi Hannah!

I think you're doing great in that you're asking for the future about colleges and the admission process. I would not stress about the process. A lot of universities and programs look further into what your grades, GPA, and test scores were. If you are scared that you don't have enough extracurricular activities, I would recommend to participate in maybe one or two further activities. For me, a few activities that I got to be apart of were our Spanish Club, SADD( Students Against Destructive Decisions) Program, and NHS. They don't have to be any necessarily huge group. These programs interested me and I had tons of fun during the process of getting to help out our community as well. Simply recommended, do what you love and it shouldn't matter what college admissions base their critique on!

I hope this helped, and good luck in your endeavors!

Thank you
Molly H.
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Karissa’s Answer

This all depends on how well you are doing in math. You can get C's in all your other classes. If you struggle in math then Computer Science is not the right career for you.
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