The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

Steps for Juniors Applying to College


Applying to colleges seems very stressful to many students. There are many different types of colleges to choose from and even when you pick one, you have to go through plenty of steps just to get accepted. The process always seems so long and tedious, but it does not need to be. So let’s talk about applying to college. What kind of college to choose, what they look for as well as the little things certain majors will need.

The very first step in this process usually is what type of college one wants to go to. There’s two main kinds of colleges: a university or community college. The university path is usually taken by someone who is ready to get started on their college career. They have some sort of path planned out and are ready to take action. On the other hand, if one is not entirely sure what field you want to go into or you just are not ready to experience such a drastic lifestyle change just yet, community college might be the perfect path for you to take instead. Many students get pressured into going into a four-year university, but one does not have to go that route. Community college is the perfect way to get your feet wet and get a feel for the college lifestyle without having the large classrooms and strict schedules. Either path you choose, make sure it is the right one suited for your needs and wants.

Now onto what many colleges and universities look for in students. Many universities vary in what type of student they want attending at their campus. For example, let’s look into some of the most applied to universities in Texas and see some of their needed criteria to apply to their college.

  • Texas A&M’s requirements are a 3.64 gpa with grades that mostly consist of A’s and very few B’s. For SAT scores, they would like reading and writing to be in between 520 and 640 while math needs to be in the range of 550 and 670. Then for ACT, scores need to be 24 through 30.
  • Texas State requirements are a gpa of 3.37, a score between 460 and 560 in the reading and writing portion of the SAT and a 470 to 560 in the math portion. Then, a 20 to 25 in for ACT.
  • University of Houston likes students with a gpa around 3.56. For the SAT, scores of 510 to 610 in the reading and writing portion and 530 to 640 in the math portion are required. Then for ACT, 23 through 28 are the most accepted scores for this college.
  • University of Texas requires a 3.68 gpa along with 560 to 680 SAT reading and writing scores and 580 to 730 math scores. ACT scores need to be between 26-32.
  • Texas Tech University’s requirements are a gpa of 3.44, SAT scores of 500 to 590 in the reading and writing portion and 520 to 610 in the math portion. Then ACT scores between 22 and 27.

Community College is a totally different story. Schools like Houston Community College, Lone Star College or Blinn College accept most students incoming from all high schools around the area. It does not take much to get into these types of schools as they are usually used as a stepping stone to get into a higher up university. GPA, SAT and ACT scores are all at a reasonable level that anyone can accomplish.

After choosing your university or college you are now almost ready to apply for your college choices. Before applying you need to complete all of your testing which includes taking the SAT and ACT. Make sure look into your college choices before taking these two tests to see what their needed scores are so you do not have to retake them. Once that is done you can now begin to apply to your colleges. To help you through the process here are some steps you could take:

  • Take all of your test scores and begin to apply to your colleges in ApplyTexas or Common App. Both sites will guide you through the process step by step with ease.
  • After that make sure to send the following things into your colleges: letters of recommendations (may or may not be needed), essays (may or may not be needed) and your final transcript (is always needed for all colleges).
  • Then once everything is done you can apply for financial aid and scholarships. This step does not have to be taken.

Following these steps and taking these tips into consideration when applying can hopefully help all of you juniors figure out your path. Of course there is way more than just these few things, but this is a nice, basic start that can apply to anyone. No matter what kind of college you go into, where you go and what you major in, as long as you love and enjoy what you do that is all that matters.

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