It’s not easy to be accepted into your dream college, especially when you’re shooting for some of the most competitive universities in the United States. That being said, accomplishing any goal is easier when you have a thoughtful strategy in place to help you achieve it. That includes being accepted into your dream school. Below are just a few college admissions strategies that you can use to improve your odds of being accepted into your dream school.

Apply Early

One of the best ways to get a leg up on the fierce competition of college applicants is to apply as early as possible to ensure that you receive a decision before spots start running low. This of course is only possible with schools that you feel very strongly about attending as an early decision may require you to commit before you hear back from some of your other choices. This shouldn’t be an issue though as you’re applying to one of your dream schools after all.

Apply to Multiple “Dream Schools”

When you’re applying to your dream schools, it’s a good idea to have a few backups just in case you don’t get into your top pick. Generally, you want to have a list of 5 to 10 schools that cover your Reach, Match, and Safety schools. If your top 3 schools are what you’d consider “dream schools” then you will increase your odds of being accepted into at least one of them.

Practice Writing Personal Essays Throughout High School

One of the most underrated college admissions strategies is becoming an experienced essay writer before you need it. Personal essays are a standard part of the college application process. While most high school students will not be thinking about writing personal essays until they start the college application process, you can give yourself an advantage by mastering the art of writing about yourself in preparation for writing a strong personal essay.

Want to improve your writing abilities for personal essays? Sign up for tutoring or a college essay writing boot camp!

Ask Teachers and Mentors for Letters of Recommendation

If you are a standout student who shows up to class ready to participate, always takes initiative in class, and stays involved in after-school clubs and activities, then it is likely that several teachers would happily write you a shining letter of recommendation. These letters of recommendation can go a long way in helping your application stand out among the competition.

Seek Out “Bridge” Programs at Your Dream School

A great way to get your foot in the door at your dream college is to participate in a “bridge” or pre-college program if the opportunity is offered. Most schools will offer top high school students the opportunity to take college-level courses while they are still in high school which is an excellent opportunity to become familiar with faculty and staff who may be willing to write a letter of recommendation in the future. Additionally, participating in an accelerated program such as this can be a notable addition to your college application.

Cultivate Academics

Here at Cultivate Academics, we focus on helping students excel at the college admissions process by providing tutoring, ACT boot camps, and guidance from experienced college admissions coaches. Our mentorship style of college admissions counseling creates the best high school student and the most authentic college applicant. Contact us today to learn more about how we empower students and families through the college admissions process.