Does applying to college look daunting? We’ve compiled a list of college application tips to help you in the process.
- Make contact. Reach out to the admissions office, to one of our student ambassadors, or to a staff member in your department of interest. Forge a personal connection by letting them know of your interest in attending Sattler. Now is the time to ask any questions you may have. “I’m always very impressed when students take initiative on their own to reach out,” said Lesley Britton, Sattler’s director of admissions. “Making contact definitely makes their application stand out.”
- Apply for early decision. Applying for early decision will give you peace of mind and more time to plan for your upcoming course of studies. In addition, you will have early access to financial aid for both merit- and need-based scholarships, while regular decision applicants receive a more limited access to funds. Sattler’s early decision deadline is November 15, and you will hear a decision before Christmas. Sattler does ask that those students who apply for early decision commit to attending Sattler if accepted.
- Include high-quality letters of recommendation. Choose recommenders who know you well, preferably over a length of time. Someone who has acted as your mentor would be an excellent choice. You will need to include at least one academic reference, preferably a teacher from the recent past. If you’re homeschooled, your academic reference can be a family member. Don’t forget to follow up your request for recommendations with a personal thank you to each person who gave you one.
- Be authentic and bold. The essay portion of Sattler’s application asks for two essays: one a writing sample of your choice, the other a response to one of three questions. Choose to write on a subject you’re passionate about and that’s unique to you. Be authentic. Be different. Be bold. The admissions team is not only looking for a well-written essay, but for unique content. They want to get a feel for who you are as a person. When you’ve finished your essays, proofread them and ask a teacher, friend, or parent to read them over as well.
- Share your accomplishments. Along with the required materials, feel free to send any awards you’ve earned or information about yourself that makes you stand out or shows where you are unique.
- Be honest about deficiencies. So maybe you have a terrible GPA or bombed your standardized tests. Don’t be afraid to address that deficiency and give it your best explanation. An older student, for example, might explain that he has been out of school for a long time and is shaky on some technical skills. Another applicant might say that she experienced family issues during high school that kept her from doing her best. Whatever the explanation, be sure to explain how you’ve addressed the issue and how you plan to move forward.
- Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask questions before you begin your application or during the process of filling it out.
Are you a homeschooler wondering if college is right for you? Download The Homeschooler's Guide to College: Everything You Need to Know about Applying, Deciding, and Preparing for School.