Four Pieces Of Advice To Remember During Your College Search

SEEDS’ recent College Day was helpful for all students as they navigate the process. Following last week’s advice for starting your college search, here are four of the day’s takeaways specifically for juniors and seniors.

Show demonstrated interest:

Just like you, schools have emotions and egos. In the same way that many people like to receive a phone call, email or visit from a friend, colleges like the same. They want you to reach out to them during the admissions season. What may seem like a simple email will be seen as a sign of interest to the school. While it will vary by the size of each admissions office, if you are able, get to know the admissions director responsible for your high school. This may very well play in your favor when selection committees are making decisions.

Explore Fly-In opportunities:

Fly-in weekends are events offered by a number of colleges during the fall to showcase their schools. Many of these specifically focus on non-traditional students (first generation, students of color, etc.). They are selective and require some sort of application. Because of this, schools use fly-in weekends to promote their programs and, more importantly, identify strong candidates for admissions. Many schools offer admissions to most of the fly-in participants. Our advice is to apply to at least 4 or 5 programs with the hope of attending at least 1 or 2. Click here for information on many of these programs.

Consider an Early Application:

Early Decision is the ultimate form of demonstrated interest!

  • Early Decision: By applying through Early Decision, students receive an earlier notification of their admissions decision. Unlike Regular Decision, an application through Early Decision is a binding agreement. If a student is admitted through Early Decision, they cannot apply to other schools and are expected to attend the institution.
    • What’s the benefit of applying early?
      • Get earlier notification – students will receive their admissions decision earlier in the year.
      • Ensure space in the school students hope to attend.
      • Unlike five years ago, students who need significant aid are in a better position during the early application process. Many highly selective schools are filling 50% or more of their freshmen class during this time and offering a preliminary financial aid package at the time of admissions. With that said, since it is a binding contract, you must be completely comfortable with the school: academically, financially, geographically, and socially. If you are admitted, you are expected to attend.
  • Early Action: Students receive an early admissions decision but do not have to commit to the institution. Through this agreement, students are able to apply to other institutions even if they are admitted through EA.

​Every school is required to have a net-price calculator listed on their site. This electronic tool offers you an estimate of your financial aid package at that school. In order to get the most accurate package, your parents should fill out the calculator as carefully as possible. Find yourself with financial aid questions? We encourage you reach out to each school’s Financial Aid office or the NJ SEEDS Guidance team.

Attend a College Tour through NJ SEEDS

Throughout the year, the Guidance Team plans college tours all across the country. These events give you the opportunity to understand a campus first hand. This summer, SEEDS will be visiting four schools in Philadelphia and Maryland. We will visit Villanova University (PA), the University of Pennsylvania (PA), Goucher College (MD), and Johns Hopkins University (MD) on August 6-7. These four schools offer a variety of qualities, including in size, environment, and selectivity. Can’t make this trip? Be sure to look out for upcoming fall opportunities!