- Step 1: Get excited about learning Get excited about learning long before you start looking at colleges and universities. If you don't like school, it'll be harder to excel.
- Step 2: Focus on academics Focus on academics during your grade school years to develop a foundation of strong organizational, reading, and study skills.
- TIP: Attend summer science or math programs to generate enthusiasm about academic possibilities.
- Step 3: Get top grades Get top grades in the hardest classes, beginning with your freshman year -- the best schools require a 3.75 or higher grade point average.
- TIP: Become a well-rounded person by joining clubs, taking leadership roles, and participating in a variety of extracurricular activities.
- Step 4: Prepare for standardized tests Prepare for SAT or ACT tests, taking advantage of tutors, preparation courses, practice tests, and guides. Consider taking the tests a second or third time to achieve your best possible scores.
- Step 5: Apply early Apply for admission early to emphasize your commitment to the school.
- Step 6: Write a dynamite essay Write a dynamite essay with a strong opener to demonstrate positive personal qualities and to establish a distinctive identity with admission officers.
- Step 7: Submit stellar recommendations Accompany application submissions with stellar recommendations from two teachers and one guidance counselor. With these strategies in place, your hopes for entry to a top college or university are on solid ground.
- FACT: About 18 million students are enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities.
You Will Need
- Educational support materials and opportunities
- 3.75 GPA or higher
- SAT or ACT preparatory resources
- High SAT and ACT scores
- Compelling application essay
- Outstanding recommendations
- Summer programs (optional)
- Clubs and extracurricular activities (optional)