Class of 2023 college applications tips and tricks

Anna-Grace Medlin, Editor-in-Chief

Attention seniors of FVHS, college application due dates are coming up. The regular decision deadline is Jan. 1, 2023 and early action applications are due Nov. 1, 2022. Whether you’re choosing a regular decision or early action, this time in life can be stressful and confusing. But with a little advice and guidance from the school counselors and people who care about you, this process will definitely go a lot smoother.

While most of the deciding factors on whether you’ll be chosen or not happened during junior year, there are still some areas where you can improve in the little time left. However, your GPA, any AP classes you took, and your score on the SAT/ACT are pretty much set in stone, but there are a few things that can help you be accepted into your dream school.

Many schools assert that doing something as simple as attending an admissions tour can increase your likelihood of getting in. The NCSU Admissions program confirms that it increases applicants’ chances by up to 30%. Going on an admissions tour shows direct interest in that particular school, and that is something colleges love to see.

Another easy way to stand out on your application is to always do the optional sections. Most colleges make it optional to submit personal references. While it is optional, these references can make a big difference in your application. When choosing who to ask for a letter of recommendation, choose someone who respects and thinks highly of you. A teacher whose class you did well in, a mentor whose opinion you value, or even your counselor if you’ve had a close relationship with them.

Many students will stress about their scores on the SAT/ACT, but in reality, the schools are aware of how unreflective these scores are on your true ability. That is one of the reasons why schools have made this year’s scores optional on the application. Most public colleges will not bring back mandated test scores through at least the fall of 2024. So unless your score is the average or above of last year’s class, then it is recommended not to submit them.

“SAT/ACT scores are optional this year for most schools. My advice is to not submit your scores unless they’re above that school’s average from last year’s admitted class,” said FVHS counselor Michelle Montgomery.

With these scores being optional, it is important that you put time and effort into your personal essay. Elle Mcpherson, a junior at NCSU, said, “Most people focus all of their time on their personal essay when in reality, colleges care more about why you picked your major and why you want to fulfill that major at that particular school.”

It is important to put your best foot forward when applying and that can mean bragging about yourself. While most people feel uncomfortable bragging about themselves and their accomplishments, that’s really the whole point of the application process.

It is also important to remember that even if you don’t get into your dream school you can always do a transfer program with Wake Tech Community College which can land you in your dream school eventually.

Just remember to be confident in your application and put your best foot forward. Good luck to the seniors of FVHS!