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Surviving the College Admission Process

Every institution has a different process for admissions applications. Knowing what documents you will need for each can be a challenge. Organizing your documents before you start applying to schools can make the process faster, smoother and less stressful.

Navigating through the college application process can be stressful and time-consuming. Each institution has its own required documents for completing their admissions process, so before you start filling out admissions paperwork, ensure you have all of the necessary documents for the school. These documents typically include the following.

  • Basis of admission. This is typically your GED, high school diploma or undergraduate degree, which you can obtain from the awarding authority.
  • Verification of military status. Institutions typically accept a copy of your military identification card or a letter from your spouse's command. Generally, you will need to ask the institution’s admissions office about the school’s requirements for verification of military status.
  • College essay. The essay is your chance to tell an admissions officer about you and your unique qualities. Write about something that is important and has meaning to you.
  • Test scores. SAT, ACT, GMAT, MCAT or other placement examination scores are often required for admission. Most institutions require sealed results, which you can obtain through the testing organization.

In addition to the repetitious task of entering the same information on many different applications, the uncertainty of being accepted can often be overwhelming. When beginning the college application process, keep the following pointers in mind.

  • Do what’s right for you. It’s important to select a school that fits your needs. You will want to select a program that will provide you career opportunities in your chosen occupation once you graduate. You know yourself better than anyone else does, so you are the best person to make the decision on where to attend college.
  • Keep it real. Be yourself on your application. Through all of your essays, interviews, emails and recommendations, make sure the college is getting the picture of who you really are and not who you think they want you to be. Most colleges want to learn about you as a person, not you as the ideal student.
  • Figure out what you can and can’t do. Some parts of the college application process are completely out of your control. Regardless of how well your essay is written or how well you interview, other applicants may be out there who are better suited to the needs of the institution. Focus on the things you can control, make the best of them and don’t stress about what you can’t control.
  • Keep things in perspective. Selecting a college is an important decision, but remember, if you don’t get into your top choice, there are many other colleges to assist you in reaching your education goals. Make sure to keep your long-term goals in focus and make the best of any situation you come across.

Once you have narrowed your college search and are ready to begin the application process, check for any additional requirements a school may have. If you need further assistance or wish to speak to someone about your college search and application process, call a career coach at 800-342-9647 or use the Live Chat feature on MySECO.

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