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    10 Resources To Prepare You For College Admissions

    Posted March 1, 2024, 5:00 pm by The Experts at TeenLife
    Five teenage students prepare for college around a circular table

    10 Resources To Help You Prepare For College Admissions

    Applying to college can be one of the most stressful parts of a teenager's life. What makes the college admissions experience so difficult? Balancing deadlines, writing essays, and crunching the numbers to see if you can afford your dream school. Factoring in the day-to-day high school responsibilities, extracurricular activities, and part-time jobs just adds to the stress.

    Fortunately, plenty of amazing resources exist to help high school juniors and seniors prep for the college application process. From choosing a college to ensuring you shine on paper, there's help for every step of the way.

    TeenLife holds regular online events to share resources and answer questions. For example, our TeenLife LIVE College Prep Expo brought a number of these resources directly to you. We designed this virtual event to replicate an in-person fair where students, parents, and educators could hear presentations from multiple speakers on many topics related to applying to college, with topics ranging from scholarships to essays and everything in between.

    Below, you’ll find some of the questions we answered at the TeenLife LIVE College Prep Expo.

    How Do I Pick A College?

    Before you even start your application, you have to decide what you might want to pursue in higher education. Then you have to make a list of colleges and universities offering degrees in what you'd like to study. Never feel that you have to make this journey alone. Here are a few resources dedicated to helping pair your interests with a college where you can explore, learn, and grow.

    College Advisor can turn your college dreams into reality. Offering personalized, effective college advising, College Advisor's team of former admissions officers meets with you to help you define your goal, whether it's maximizing your chance to gain acceptance into an Ivy League school or finding the perfect school for your personality, passions, and dreams.

    North Shore College Consulting provides individual, comprehensive guidance throughout the college preparation, selection and application process. They use an individualized college search process, administer various assessment tools and interactive games to build a completely personalized and detailed best-fit college and university list for every student.

    The National Portfolio Day Association (NPDA) was created in 1978 to help connect visual art and design students with its member institutions worldwide. The Association consists of representatives from regionally accredited US colleges and universities that are accredited institutional members of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. NPDA is the only organization of its kind, and the membership represents the highest standard of visual arts education available.

    Versan Educational Services assists international students looking for the perfect college. This company has been educating students across the Caribbean for secondary, tertiary, and professional programs for over two decades. Via personalized one-on-one consultations with students from Korea, China, England, Barbados, Trinidad, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Russia, and South Africa, director Sandra Bramwell places about 600 students annually.

    How Do I Pay For College?

    The biggest question you (and your family) will probably ask. With tuition rates at private universities increasing about 5% for the 2023-2024 school year compared to the 2022-2023 school year, and in-state and out-of-state tuition and fees at public universities rising almost 4% and 1.4% respectively, planning how to pay for college has never been more important. Many resources are available to help you plan your approach to financing your education.

    Fastweb is the leading online resource in finding scholarships to help students pay for school. After you complete a profile, the service connects you to scholarships aligned with your unique qualifications via a database with over 1.5 million awards totaling more than $3.4 billion in funds.

    SMARTTRACK® College Funding helps parents prepare for college too! Most middle and upper-middle income families are surprised to learn that with a little planning, they can significantly lower out-of-pocket college costs, maximize grants and scholarships, and minimize debt. If you’re concerned that you won’t qualify for financial aid, haven’t saved enough, don’t have an effective plan to cover the considerable costs of educating your children, or want to ensure you're getting the best value for your money, SMARTTRACK® can help.

    How Do I Write My College Essay?

    The essay is one of the most important parts of the college application process. The diverse expectations for styles and requirements can make it hard to find an approach to answering questions in a way that will set you apart from the other applicants.

    The College Essay Guy is a go-to resource for practical, step-by-step guides on writing beautiful college essays and putting together an awesome college application. This can't-miss resource offers tips on everything from personal statements to grammar and sentence structure and is the perfect guide for anyone worried about writing a stand-out college essay.

    How Do I Make My College Application Unique?

    This question is one of the hardest to answer, partly because the entire college application process is a study in how you set yourself apart from the crowd. Fear not! It is possible to stand out from others—even on paper. The following resources may help.

    INTO PREP, a highly-regarded college preparatory program, has over a decade of experience guiding students to achieve their goals. Their expert instructors provide tutoring and targeted test prep for the SAT, ACT, GRE, LSAT, and AP exams. By focusing on both academic skills and standardized testing INTO PREP can give you the edge to stand out in the college admissions process.

    Volunteer with a local organization. Volunteering offers so many advantages for students, exposing them to the real world where they can learn and practice important skills like communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and time management. Getting involved also allows students to try out different fields and see if they enjoy a particular type of work. Helping others and seeing the positive impact of their work can give students a real sense of accomplishment and boost their confidence, too.

    MyCoalition For College offers a free, online toolkit that empowers students in 9th grade and above to explore colleges, prepare applications, and manage deadlines—all in one place. Using MyCoalition's user-friendly platform reduces stress and ensures a smooth path to higher education.

    You Don't Have to Tackle the College Admissions Process Alone

    College applications can feel overwhelming, but with the right resources, you can navigate the process with confidence. From choosing the perfect school to crafting unforgettable essays and securing financial aid, there's help available at every step. Take advantage of the amazing organizations listed above—whether you need personalized guidance on college selection or a one-stop-shop for application management, there's a solution to empower you on your journey to higher education. Remember, you've got this!

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