Getting Into College... And Doing It the Right Way

by Ande Frazier

Financial Frequency. myCareer

March 28, 2019 .3 min read

Is there a right or wrong way to approach the college admissions process?

As we’ve seen in the recent headlines surrounding the largest college admissions bribery scandal, there definitely is.

We know the college admissions process can be stressful and overwhelming at times, but no matter what, it’s important to be diligent, proactive, and honest throughout it all.

Here are some of our suggestions on how to go about the college admissions process:

Don’t Waste Time

Getting an early start will make your motivation known to colleges. Schools want to know that that not only are you focused on getting into a college, but you’re determined to get the best education possible.

Get the Best Grades Possible

Throughout all four years of high school, it’s important to focus on getting the best possible grades in each and every single class. Do so by studying hard and getting any extra help where needed.

Get Help

Having trouble with a class or subject? Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for help.

You’re at a crucial point in your life where your grades speak volumes about your level of dedication so utilizing all of the free (and not free) tools and services available to you such a peer tutors, online tutoring, teachers and counselors, is essential.

Practice Taking the SAT or ACT

Become familiar with how these tests are laid out and the material covered on each. During your sophomore year, take the PSAT which allows you to prepare for the SAT.

Take the SAT and ACT

The great thing is that colleges will take either test and you may do better on one than the other. Also, if you’re not truly satisfied with your scores, take them over.

Challenge Yourself Academically

Did you know that according to the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s most recent “State of College Admission" survey, 66 percent of staffers put a considerable amount of weight to the degree of challenge?

With that in mind, it’s essential to strengthen the variety and level of challenge your curriculum provides. So, opt to take those college prep courses, Advanced Placement (AP) classes, honors, and International Baccalaureate (IB).

Get Involved

This is an opportunity to use your extracurriculars to show just how well rounded of a candidate you are.

Find something you really enjoy doing and then dive deep. Whether it be sports, student government, or the arts, take this time to develop your skill set and use it towards your college application.

Spend Time with Your College Admissions Essay

This is your pitch. Your opportunity to sell yourself as to why you would be a great fit for a particular college or university. Use your essay to stand out from the crowd.

When writing your piece, welcome feedback from your teachers and superiors and take the time to develop it.

Get Recommendations

Ask your teachers and school counselors at least a month in advance of college deadlines and include a sheet highlighting your accomplishments, extracurriculars, leadership positions and anything noteworthy to help them write your glowing rec.

Prepare for Interviews

This isn’t required by all schools but may be required by the school of your interest.

Before your interview, review your essay and any information you may have obtained about the college or university. Dress professionally for the interview and remember to send thank you notes/e-mails after, reiterating your interest in the school.

The college admissions process can be stressful and of course, overwhelming, but staying true to the process and being proactive is the right course of action to take.


On March 12, 2019, fifty people were charged by the U.S. Attorney in the District of Massachusetts, in federal court as part of a long-running, nationwide conspiracy, dating back to 2011, to illicitly gain admission for their children to top colleges and universities. Of the fifty people, two actresses Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) and Lori Loughlin (Full House, Fuller House) have been included in the indictment.

For the full scope of details surrounding this case, click here.