5 Tips for College Applications

SAT math section

Whether they’re applying to a community college, technical program, or four-year university, many students are spending their summers preparing to submit applications in the fall.

It’s that time of year: time for college visits, strolls around your local community college, and building your resume to be the strongest it can possibly be. Education applications are time-consuming and can be stressful, but remember that it should be exciting!

You’re choosing the next step in your career. There are many spots open in the science, technology, engineering, and math industries thanks to the unfortunate skills gap, and often (not all the time), careers may require a certain type of education.

If you’re returning to school after some time in a career, or simply applying to develop your skills further through a certificate program, these tips will apply to your application as well. Here are some of our key points to remember as you work on applications this summer!

1. Update your resume, constantly: Hopefully you’ve already been doing this, but keep a list of your accomplishments in recent years. It can be easy to forget a volunteer experience or other achievement if you haven’t written it down.

College application resumes can be incredibly valuable (bring it to interviews! Use it to help apply for scholarships!) if done well. You can read a full list of resume-writing tips here, but most important is to brainstorm everything you’ve accomplished, list everything that makes you most stand out, and note experiences that show your initiative and passion.

2. Start working on your essays: Essay-writing is certainly an art, and it takes a while to concisely and clearly talk about yourself on paper. Make sure to leave time for a few different people to edit it before you need to turn it in—it’s always best to have as many eyes as possible review your work!

3. Explore different paths: Especially for those interested in technical careers, we always recommend factory tours to see the ins and outs of what happens in manufacturing facilities. Try one of the four best tours in Nebraska, or find a new manufacturer and ask if you can shadow or tag along for a day to see how the field works.

Before heading off for a specific education, it’s good to see the day-to-day reality of the career. Maybe you’ll even discover a passion you never knew you had! Applications are always made stronger by clear-cut desires and specificity that can make you stand out in a crowd.

4. Join a club: It’s never too early to begin meeting and networking with people in your field, even while you’re still in high school. Clubs, societies, and professional organizations can boost a resume and give you valuable real-life skills and stories to mention in your applications.

Good luck to all those working on applications, to wherever they may be! Questions? Comments? Want to learn more about educational partners in Nebraska? Leave a comment in the section below!

photo credit: SAT – Math Section via photopin (license)