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Neo
Major: International Business
Status: Light Keeper

A person with strange ideas in my head and strange feelings in my heart...

How to Find the Right School for You and the Money For It.
Andy Neo

Filling Out the Application
When you do this essential part of your application process you must keep in mind that there are three types of questions the admissions officers will be asking themselves when reading your application:
1. What is the institution getting? What does the candidate value? Is there real intellectual curiosity?
2. What has the applicant accomplished in classroom? Challenged herself/himself? Taken advantage of the curriculum? Have risked academically?
3. What has the candidate accomplished outside the class? Is there evidence of applicant pursuing interests with persistence and compassion? How has demonstrated concern for greater good? They also hate plagiarized, non-original work and procrastination.
They also want to see students reach their individual academic and social potential. Therefore keep in mind that the institutions attempt to match students with institutional needs; they are selecting a class, not a group of individuals. To satisfy the committee you have to:
a) show that you have maintained strong academic pace throughout your academic career,
b) have taken advantage of curriculum,
c) performed well in class,
d) presented competitive test results.

It is most important to ask yourself when filling out the application not How can I get it?, but how can I most effectively portray the real me? They want an accurate, confident portrayal spiced with a few sparks of originality. What is important in an applicant for them is that the student demonstrates leadership, hard work, initiative and commitment.
Before filling out the applications try to find out what exactly these schools value, what do they want from prospective applicants. This information is most often in the booklets and on the sites, therefore read everything you can find. I have found statements what qualities in a candidate the institution is interested in fitted in some tiny little paragraph that is easy to miss.
Ask Questions! On whatever site you can find an address that connects you with a knowledgeable person write to find out more! On non-school sites like www.mycollegeguide.org you might find As to Qs like How important are SATs for State U? for example.

Communication With the College
I have talked much already about writing to the college, asking questions, getting information. This may not be as important in the admissions process when you target an undergraduate program but it is the main point when you work towards graduate school. Getting into grad school is based on the impression you have made, therefore you have to be in contact with people you are going to impress. Write to the admissions officers, find e-mails of the professors in the field you are interested in and write them, ask questions about the program, about the school, about the atmosphere and the student body, about the concept of teaching in the school. All this is essential for you in your choice, so do not be afraid to ask questions. Remember, in this process no question is silly and no question in unimportant. This is the next 2 to 5 years of your life and you want to be happy during them!
Also some schools will have students write you and giving you the opportunity to ask them questions. Never loose it. They are the ones who go to school where you want to study and they are the most accurate source of info. You also have the opportunity to become known by someone on campus and in case you go there you will not be in a strange place with no one to talk to about your first impressions and no one to get advice from except peer freshmen. So when you get a letter from someone who says she or he is a student of the school jump at the opportunity to make acquaintances.

Often it is easier to find the information for those aiming for UG programs, while graduate info is often not so well presented. If you think that being a freshman is enough for you it might be a good idea to ask the college in a different letter about their undergraduate catalogue and see what attention is paid to undergrads in this school. You will be the one teaching these fellas when you go to study there. Also see what is being said about the graduate community in the undergraduate booklet. Try to make up your mind about the general school atmosphere from the site / catalogue / ratings, etc and then you will be more prepared to asking questions about graduate programs. Understand that some schools may not have graduate programs therefore state clearly what kind of info you want to receive. Surfing the site for graduate programs available is helpful.

And the last: In whatever you do to get accepted to that dream school you have to limit the risk of not getting in and increase the odds that you will win admission.

 
 



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