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October 5, 2006

College Bound

   Is the college application process looming like a

Mount

Everest

in your road to life? Even if it's a hike you're looking forward

to, it helps to be well-equipped. Teen Ink asked a couple of

experts to offer advice for high-school students about to

embark on the college application process. Here's what they

had to say:

1. Be true to yourself. Think beyond what "everyone" is

doing, where "everyone" is planning to apply. An honest look

at your strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes - what's

important to you - and which colleges match up - will serve

you best in the long run.

2. Visit campuses you are considering. You and your family

may not be able to afford the time or money to visit every

campus, but if possible, visiting 3-4 different colleges will

give you a feel for similarities and differences - and unique

features. For those you can't visit before you apply, use all

the resources at your disposal - Web, admission counselors,

high-school guidance counselor, people you know who have

attended, even college faculty in the major you are

considering at that school - to help you get a feel for the

place.

3. Ask questions. If you are not sure about an item on the

admissions application or a step in the process, call the

Admissions Office (or e-mail or take advantage of chats or

IM) and ask. That way, you will be sure to respond

appropriately and the admissions officers will get to know

you.

4. Use your senior year wisely. You may be tempted to

view your senior year as a time to wind down, but the most

successful college freshmen use their senior year of high

school to gear up for the rigors of college studies. Read,

read, read! Practice a variety of test preparation and study

techniques. Try something new - that gets you out

of your comfort zone. And, if you are unsure about a college

major and career path, this is a great time to ask everyone

you know - and the people they know - about their

careers.

Ms. Gerri Daniels is the Director of Admissions at

Northern

Michigan University.

   Think carefully about your extracurricular activities. And jot

down some notes for yourself. Which activities are most

important to you? Among all the activities you could have

chosen, what about these caught your interest? Why have

you stayed involved? And what do you think you've gained

by staying involved?

   There are no right or wrong answers. But being able to

convey this information in an admission interview or in your

application is an important way for you to capture the

interest of college admission counselors. That way your

activities don't just form a list, but they become a reflection

of who you are.

Elizabeth H. Woyczynski is the Director of Undergraduate

Admissions at Case Western Reserve University.

email:

extraink@teenink.com

phone:

617.964.6800

web:

http://www.teenink.com

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