Applying for college can be a somewhat confusing and even frustrating process. Many colleges and universities require applicants to fill out long applications, gather various supporting materials, and present financial aid information, all before even agreeing to let them be students. Getting college admissions assistance can help ensure that all requirements are met, and that an application package is as concise as possible. There are many possible sources of college admissions assistance, from official sources such as admissions counselors, to unofficial helpers, like current students.
For students in high school, guidance counselors are often the best source of college admissions assistance. Not only do these counselors frequently have a wealth of information that can help a student decide which colleges to apply for, they can also be extremely helpful when crafting an admission package. College applications can be started up to a year before graduation, so students may want to set up a meeting with a counselor toward the end of their junior year of high school. Building a good relationship with a school guidance counselor can also lead to a glowing letter of recommendation from him or her, which may help an application stand out from the pack.
In addition to counselors, teachers and professors can sometimes be a good source of college admissions assistance. Many colleges require essays or personal statements, which can be very tricky to write well. Consider asking an English or composition teacher to help review application essays for spelling and grammatical errors as well as content suggestions. Teachers are also frequently willing to write letters of recommendation for students who have done well in their classes.
A friend, relative, or colleague that recently went through the college admissions process may be a very good source of college admissions advice. Consider asking people who are known for their writing skills to look over essays, or those that got offered admission to many schools to review an application packet. While their advice may not be professional, smart friends and relatives can certainly help review the admission requirements and help double-check that all materials are in order.
One other possibility is to advertise or search for a tutor to provide college admissions assistance. This is a good option for people who do not have friends or relatives with admissions expertise, or those that cannot get the help they need from counselors or teachers. Advertising with an online job-posting website, or even in a local college newspaper, may be a good way to find a helpful tutor. When interviewing potential tutors, be certain to ask for references and credentials that show a person's record of success with college applications.