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College students give advice for high schoolers applying now

Alyssa Pry
Personal Finance Reporter

Applying to college and not sure where to start? That stack of applications may look scary, but we asked some current college students for advice and encouragement on the whole process.  

Want more tips and advice about the college admissions process? Yahoo Finance teamed up with college experts to answer your questions. Find out 4 tactics to get into your dream college.

Apply to reach schools

Claire, a sophomore at NYU, recommends not limiting yourself when it comes to choosing a college.

“My best advice is to apply to the reach schools that you really love but don’t think you could get in, because you might be exactly who they’re looking for,” she says.

Be selective in your choices

While it’s a good idea to look for schools that are reaches, safeties, and a few in between, applying to too many can lead to a stressful admissions process, says Yasmeen, a sophomore at NYU.

“I wanted to apply everywhere and I applied to way too many schools,” she says. “I didn’t really know where I wanted to go and I didn’t know what I wanted to major in, so that was very anxiety inducing.”

Yasmeen recommends narrowing down your choices and being realistic. “You’re only going to go to one school,” she says.

Take high school seriously

While it may be tempting to slack off senior year, those last few months do matter, says Karishma, a sophomore at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. “It’s definitely a competitive world,” she says. “Take high school seriously because your grades do matter and the work does show.”

And remember, even when you get accepted to college, you’ll need to provide your high school transcripts, so making sure you keep up your grades up until you graduate will ensure your success—and your spot in college.

Do your research

While you may have a dream school in mind, doing your research to make sure it’s actually a good fit is important, says Shehzil, a sophomore at NYU.

“Make sure you have a good feel for the school of what the college is like, because a lot of people start school and it’s not what they expected,” she says.  

Visit the college website, plan a visit, or talk to students who currently attend to get a sense of what your life will be like once you get to campus.

“Figure out what works best for you,” she says.

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