Sell Yourself: Self-Advocacy Key to College Admissions


Guidance Counselors are busy this fall helping seniors with their college applications.

Many seniors are scrambling this time of year as they go through the college application process. Those who don’t have a 4.0 and stellar SATS might be especially stressed about getting into their dream school.

Guidance counselors say students can greatly increase their chances of acceptance — no matter their transcript — by being proactive. 

“Advocate for yourself, have a voice,”  Guidance Counselor Mrs. Christy Greener said.

This starts with reaching out to colleges by visiting them and making contact with school admissions staff at college fairs. Even simply calling a school gives a student an edge.

“At fairs and visits, you meet the people who are most likely looking at your application,”  Guidance Counselor Mrs. Caitlin Hawkins said. “Now they have a face and personality to match with a name on a piece of paper.”

Being thorough about listing activities is another way seniors can advocate for themselves, Mrs. Hawkins said. Students should put down anything that shows they spend time in and outside of school productively.

“Schools want to see that you stretch yourself beyond academics,” Mrs. Hawkins said. “You don’t need to be the football captain or student president. Even a part time job and volunteering in the community looks great.”

Students also should speak up about acceptance and financial aid, which they might not realize can be negotiable. Repeated emails and phone calls coming from students (not parents) shows colleges initiative, Mrs. Hawkins said.

The important thing is to not procrastinate, but to tackle the process with a positive attitude.

“Slow down, take a deep breath, enjoy the process,” Mrs. Greener said, “because it will be over before you know it.”


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