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The hints and helpers of college applications
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Students all across the nation work hard throughout their high school careers to get into their dream school. The first step is the college application.

The college application process can be an overwhelming one. Students must send in all transcripts, recommendations and ACT/SAT scores, plus list all activities, club and community service and write various essays.

Once the college application is complete, the madness is not over as scholarship season comes around mid-winter. Scholarships are a way of bragging on yourself for money. With the help of guidance counselors and a graduation coach at Flowery Branch High School, Young Edge has come up with a list of items to help students along the journey of college applications:

1. Create a list of activities they have participated in throughout high school, Flowery Branch head graduation coach Beth Purdy said. Each time they participate in any club or community-based activity, they should write it on a sheet of paper. At the very end of their senior year, this paper should condensed to one page. “Get active,” Purdy said. “Bragging on yourself in a college application or scholarship form is the best part.” It’s quite easy for students to forget every little thing they have done since their freshman year. The list will make it much easier when making these critical steps in a college application.

2. Studying for the tests is important. “Studying is necessary; study your least favorite area. Most likely, your least favorite area is the area you struggle in,” Palmer said. “The more you put into the test, the more you’ll get out of it.”

3. Fill in all circles on the SAT and ACT. Flowery Branch counselor Cassandra Palmer said that as of March 2015, students will not be penalized for guessing.

4. See if they’re eligible for a fee waiver, Palmer said. The financial need for this is based on free or reduced lunch, family government assistance or foster care services. For more information on this matter, it’s best to speak with your school’s counselor.

5. Stay true to yourself, Flowery Branch counselor Courtney Newton said. At times, college applications may seem like a judgment test, a competition of the smartest or most athletic. At this time, everyone is smart, everyone has class rank and is extremely involved. Being yourself creates a sense of personability. Tell what traits you’re amazing at. At a larger school, admissions officers see about 12,000 to 13,000 applications each year. Make yourself stand out from all of the rest. Sending thank-you notes to every person you come into contact with around the campus can be helpful. Studies show the top 4 percent of students send thank-you notes.

6. Every day counts. A new path in life is approaching, and making the best of it starts with a college application. The process of a good college application starts the first day of high school and continues on to the last day.

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