how do you get into a college? do you take an S.A.T or do you just apply, and is it required that you stay in a dorm for your first year of college?
i’m in 11th grade trying to decide what college might be best for my interests, im interested in art, space science, and journalism.
Allison (Allie)’s Answer
Each college has different policies regarding housing. Some schools require you to live on-campus, while others do not. This is information you can find online on different college websites as well. Furthermore, some schools are commuter schools, meaning that there's no on-campus housing and students typically live at home or elsewhere while they're attending school.
**1. Research Colleges:**
- Start by researching colleges that offer programs in art, space science, and journalism. Look into their academic offerings, location, reputation, and extracurricular activities. Create a list of colleges that align with your interests.
**2. Standardized Tests (SAT/ACT):**
- Many colleges require standardized test scores like the SAT or ACT as part of the application process. Check the specific requirements of the colleges you're interested in. Some schools have become test-optional, meaning they don't require these scores, so research the policies of each college.
**3. Academic Performance:**
- Maintain a strong academic record in high school. Your GPA and coursework choices are important factors in the admission process.
**4. Extracurricular Activities:**
- Participate in extracurricular activities related to your interests. For example, join an art club, write for the school newspaper, or engage in space science-related projects. These activities can enhance your application.
**5. Letters of Recommendation:**
- Request letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors who can speak to your academic abilities and character. Choose individuals who know you well and can provide meaningful insights.
**6. Personal Statement/Essay:**
- Many colleges require a personal statement or essay as part of the application. Use this opportunity to showcase your passions, interests, and why you're a good fit for the college.
**7. Application Deadlines:**
- Pay close attention to application deadlines for each college. These can vary, and missing a deadline could affect your chances of admission.
**8. Financial Aid:**
- If you need financial aid, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for grants, scholarships, and loans.
**9. Dormitory Residence:**
- Whether staying in a dormitory is required for your first year varies by college. Some colleges have mandatory on-campus housing for freshmen, while others offer more flexibility. Check the housing policies of each college you apply to.
**10. College Visits:**
- Whenever possible, visit the colleges you're considering to get a feel for the campus, meet with faculty or advisors, and learn more about the programs.
**11. Financial Planning:**
- Consider the cost of attendance, including tuition, fees, housing, and other expenses, when making your decision. Explore scholarship opportunities and financial aid packages offered by each college.
**12. Make Informed Choices:**
- Choose a college that aligns with your academic and career goals. Think about the campus culture, class sizes, faculty expertise, and available resources.
Remember that the college application process can be competitive, so it's essential to start early, stay organized, and put effort into crafting a strong application that showcases your interests and achievements. Tailor your applications to each college's specific requirements and emphasize your passion for art, space science, and journalism in your materials to stand out to admission committees.
I love your range of interests. As a first step, I would check with the college placement office at your school (if they have one). Paul gave you some great places to look online to research schools. Remember, colleges can specialize in certain fields. If you decide you want to study science/space, that college may not have a journalism major. Better to have an idea for what passion you plan to pursue.
College-search tools are helpful for finding colleges that might be a good fit for you. Some well-known ones include:
-https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2023/03/27/opinion/build-your-own-college-rankings.html (you may need to create an account or sign up for a free trial period to use this tool)
Naviance has a college-search tool as well, if your school uses that.
I'd use college-search tools to build a college list of at least 10–12 colleges. Once you've done that, visit the colleges on your list, in-person if possible but online if you're unable to visit in person, to further refine your list. View each college's admissions webpage for the process for visiting and to find out about upcoming events, such as Q&A webinars. Visiting and engaging with a college can be really valuable in helping you decide whether it would suit you, as you'll find out more about its programs, student life, culture and climate.
As for your question about testing, check the test policy of each college you're interested in, which will also be in the admissions section of its website. If you have still have questions about a school's test policy, email their admissions (usually, the rep for your region).
Every college has their own rules on whether or not students are required to stay in dorms their first year. Some schools don't require it and some schools even require some students to stay in the dorms for two years. Regardless, all the informatuon about that should be present on a college's website.