5 Musts to get into College

Getting into the right college can be the most important thing that happens to you, your loved one, or your child, but how can you garner a great application without only focusing on grades. Colleges look at applications differently and since all of the staff of The Daily Nickel went to top colleges we put together our topic picks for things to do to get into a great college. We discussed what we did and contacted everyone we know to figure out what can really help you get into the best colleges out there. 

1. Forget about the realistic options. Every counselor, mentor, and teacher will tell you that you have to really think about the places that you can get into with the stats that you have, but the issue is no person is just a bunch of statistics. We are not saying that you should have all D's and apply to Berkeley, but forget about having the perfect 4.0 and awesome test scores. Everybody has a list of activities, special classes, circumstances, and a personal story to tell and if you really have been giving it your all take a shot. What are fifty bucks if you get into the school of your dreams, and the worst thing that can happen is they say "we regret to inform you...".  

2. It's a big game. Remember that getting into a college is a game of chess, and if you play your pieces right you can get into any school you want. If you start working towards your goal of Duke from freshman year and give it everything you have you have a heck of a better chance of entering Duke than the guy who started studying Junior year. Remember, do things you love, join clubs that are fun, and don't do anything you don't believe in just have a something cool on your resume. If you truly join a few good clubs and stick with it, you show that you are a committed person who doesn't abandon the things you believe in. 

3. Take a leadership role in your community. Even if you are shy you need to learn that taking charge will show the colleges that you are a person that gives something everything they've got no matter what. Taking on leadership roles can help you pitch yourself as a person that cares enough to put some skin in the game because showing up for a club meeting every Tuesday is one thing, but actually taking on the responsibility of planning that meeting every Tuesday is a completely different thing. Get involved and don't just sit back and let others lead. 

4. Write about something that matters to you. Don't just pick a touchy or heartfelt subject to write about for your college essay, but instead pick something that matters to you. I've read thousands of application essays and the one thing that stands out worse than a sore thumb is someone deliberately trying to get me to cry or have a reaction. Don't push the reaction and don't stress the hard times just tell them to me, convey your message with words, and make me live the hard times with you. This is key to a good essay because if you can get the reader to connect with you on a social level you are no longer a piece of paper but John Doe. 

5. Forget about it. After you have put everything into your essays, applications, grades, and tests you have to forget about it. This won't help you get into the colleges you want, but it will make sure you can continue to focus on and enjoy your last year of high school. In order to have fun in high school you must realize that once you submit it, nothing can change it. you've put your best foot forward. 

Remember each one of these things will help you to perfect your college applications and have been proven (by our staff) to matter to college admissions directors. Take each one on from the start and you too can get into a top college, and lastly, don't forget what ever college you go to, you create your future the college is just a bunch of building and teachers.  

Some of the colleges that The Daily Nickel and friends attended include UC Berkeley, Stanford, USF, Duke, & Brown. 

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