Choosing a college, completing the application process, writing essays and waiting around to hear if you’re accepted or not can be a truly stressful and time consuming process that usually requires a plan of action years in advance. Many students have numerous questions, things they’re unsure about and limited guidance to get them through the process successfully. Fortunately, the internet can be a great resource for prospective college students looking for help. Here are 100 cheat sheets and informational guides to make finding and getting into the college of your dreams a little less complicated.

General

These sites will take you through multiple aspects of college applications, often step-by-step.

  1. The Daily Beast: College Admissions Cheat Sheet: Check out this site for articles on everything from getting into Ivy League schools to doing well on your SAT.
  2. About.com College Admissions: Allan Grove, a college admissions officer, offers some great advice on the admissions process on this About.com site.
  3. College Board: Apply to College: College Board provides expert advice on applying to college in sections about planning, finding, applying, and paying for college.
  4. College Confidential: College Admissions: Find out the things you need to know most about applying for college on this site.
  5. Accepted: College Admissions: This site provides expert information on writing applications, essays and more for undergraduate and graduate school.
  6. College View: Application Process: Here you’ll find a 9-step list to guide you through the application process.
  7. Go College: Submitting Your Application: From advice on test taking to finding the best school, this site takes an all around approach to advice on college admissions.

Choosing a College

Picking what colleges to apply to can be an important first step in the process. Here you’ll find a little help on everything from how to choose to how to gather information.

  1. 8 Tips for Making the Most of a Campus Visit: Figure out what you should be looking for when you visit a college to ensure that you’ll feel at home if you get accepted.
  2. When to Visit New: How to Schedule Your Campus Visits: Learn the best times to schedule campus visits to make sure you’ll get the most out of your trip.
  3. College Decision-Making Guide: If you have gotten accepted, this guide can help you decide which school will be the best fit.
  4. Top Ten Rules for Selecting a College or University: These tips will make it easier for you to decide what schools to apply to.
  5. 10 Things You Should Consider When Choosing a College: Unsure of what factors might be essential when choosing a school? This list can help narrow it down.
  6. Choosing a College That’s Right for You: Some colleges may look greaton paper but not be such a good match for you in reality. Check out this guide to find out how to choose a match that will make you happy.
  7. Top Ten Reasons Not to Choose a College: Learn some reasons that aren’t good reasons to attend one school over another.
  8. How to Decide Which College Is Right for You: Get some additional guidance in choosing a college from this how-to guide from eHow.
  9. What to Look for in a College Visit: If you take the time to visit a college, make sure you’re getting all the info you need while you’re there by checking out these tips beforehand.
  10. College: Deciding Where to Apply: Making the decision of where to apply can get a little easier with guidance from this site.
  11. Meeting With College Admissions Staff: The admissions staff at the colleges you’re applying to can answer a lot of your questions. Here you’ll find out what you should be asking.
  12. Questions for Your Visit: Don’t just wander aimlessly on your campus visit. This guide will give you some ideas of the questions you should be asking.
  13. Selecting a College: A Checklist Approach: Go through this checklist to get assistance in choosing the perfect college.

Application Process

Check out these tips to help you find out what you should be doing to get those applications in on time and with all the important parts included.

  1. To How Many Colleges Should I Apply?: Keep yourself from applying to too many or too few colleges by reading this article first.
  2. Month-by-Month Senior Year College Application Timeline: This timeline can ensure that you stay on track throughout your entire application process.
  3. Admissions Checklist: Make sure you’ve completed everything that you need to for your applications with this helpful checklist.
  4. How to Apply to College Cheat Sheet: This cheat sheet is designed to make the whole application process a little easier for you or your parents.
  5. The College Application Process: Learn about all the things that go into the application process here.
  6. Working With Your Counselor During the Application Process: High school students can find helpful advice and guidance from school counselors and this guide offers some tips from getting the most out of this relationship.
  7. Acing the College Application Process: Ensure you come out a winner in the application process by giving this article a read.
  8. How to Apply to College: Get basic tips on the application process from this article at Suite101.
  9. How to Get into College: About.com offers some great tips that can help increase your chances of getting into college here.
  10. The Application: Simply titled, this article tells you what you need to know about the college application.

Essays

A great college essay can make or break your application. Get some tips on creating killer essays from these sites.

  1. Choosing an Admissions Essay Topic: The first step to writing an essay is choosing a topic and this article can make that a little easier.
  2. Dos and Don’ts of College Admissions Essays: Learn what you should and shouldn’t do when writing an essay with these helpful lists.
  3. Selling Yourself to Colleges: Tips for Writing Winning Essays: Find out the best ways to market your skills and abilities to colleges with advice rom this site.
  4. How to NOT Write a College Essay: There are some big mistakes in essay writing that may cost you your admission. Learn what to avoid in this article.
  5. Writing the Successful College Application Essay: Make sure your essay makes you look great with a little help from Quint Careers.
  6. College Application Essay Topics: Need a little help coming up with a good topic? This site gives some great suggestions.
  7. College Essay Writing Tips: Follow these tips to construct a solid admissions essay.
  8. How To Write A Personal Statement For College: If a personal statement is what is required for admittance, learn what you need to do to ensure it reflects your best abilities.
  9. College Essay Skills: Beef up your essay writing skills with a little help from this informative article.
  10. Your College Admissions Essay: Get Noticed!: Anyone can write a standard, boring admissions essay, but it takes a special essay to stand out. Learn how you can get a leg up with yours here.

Recommendations

Many colleges will require a few letters of recommendation for acceptance, and you can find advice on how to get them from these cheat sheets.

  1. Recommendation Cheat Sheet: Follow this helpful cheat sheet to make getting letters of recommendation easier.
  2. How to Approach Recommenders: Have someone in mind for a recommendation? Learn how to ask them for assistance in this guide.
  3. Letters of Recommendation: The Basics: If you’ve never gotten a letter of recommendation before you can find out what it entails and how to handle it here.
  4. Getting Letters of Recommendation: From finding the right person to ask, to asking in the right manner, this site can help you loads.
  5. Letter of Recommendation Guide: Check out this guide to get a step-by-step method of getting the letters you need to apply.
  6. How to Get Great Letters of Recommendation: You don’t want to just get bland letters but really great ones. This article is designed to help you make the most of your recommendations.
  7. How to Ask Your Professor for a Letter of Recommendation via Email: If your teacher or professor is accessible by email, it might be an easy way to ask for help. This article will help ensure you do it the right way.
  8. Letters of Recommendation: Whom to Ask and How: Take the mystery out of getting letters of recommendation with this guide from Cornell.
  9. How to Choose References for a College Application: If you not only need letters of recommendation but also references you’ll find some great advice here on choosing the best ones.
  10. How to Write a College Application Letter of Recommendation: Some recommenders might not have time to write you a letter and will allow you to write your own letter that they’ll approve. Learn what to include and how to write it from this guide.
  11. Pre-College 101: Getting Your Reference Letter: This guide for college application newbies offers some great advice on getting letters of recommendation in a timely manner.

Testing

Ensure you ace your ACT or SAT by preparing ahead of time through these resources.

  1. 20 Great Colleges for Students with Low SAT Scores: If you’ve already taken your test and you didn’t exactly ace it, learn what your options may be for colleges.
  2. Put to the Test: Preparing for the SATs / ACTs: Get some valuable information on how to prepare for the ACT and SAT here.
  3. What You Need to Know About Entrance Exams: This article will help you to learn what to expect when you show up for exams and how much they really matter.
  4. The Facts on Taking the SATs & ACTs: This article promises to give you a rundown on the basics of taking these college exams.
  5. Test Prep Review: This site is dedicated to helping students prepare to take these kinds of exams, so look over it while you’re studying.
  6. Your Guide to the ACT: Check out this great guide to the ACT to learn what to expect and how to prepare.
  7. Official SAT Guide: If the SAT is what your college requires, learn what you need to do to get ready from this site.
  8. College Placement Sample Tests: Most colleges require students to take placement exams to see what general courses they’ll need to take. This site can provide some exams for practice.
  9. College Entrance Exams: Preparing for the ACT & SAT: Here you’ll find some additional support and practical tips for getting ready to take your ACTs or SATs.

Interviews

Not all colleges require interviews, but if yours does you can find a little help here.

  1. Interview Checklist: Before you head off to a college interview, go through this cheat sheet checklist.
  2. College Interview Questions: Prep for your interview ahead of time by reviewing these common questions.
  3. Acing Your College Interview: Learn what qualities will help you give a winning interview.
  4. Preparing for a College Interview: Read this article to learn what you’ll need to do to be well-prepared for a college interview.
  5. 10 College Interview Mistakes: Sometimes it’s more helpful to learn what not to do, so read up on common blunders here.
  6. Should I Do an Optional College Interview?: If your college of choice gives you the option of interviewing and you’re not sure if you should, read this article to help weigh the pros and cons.
  7. The College Interview: Learn the basics of what to expect at a college interview from this college-focused site.
  8. College Interview FAQs: Here are some commonly asked questions that can help you know what a college interview will be like.
  9. How To Prepare for a College Interview: Ensure you arrive at your interview prepped and ready-to-go by reading this article ahead of time.
  10. The Personal Interview: Whether you’re applying for a job or for college, this article will give you some tips on giving a wonderful personal interview.

Finances

Even if you don’t know if you’re accepted to college you’ll need to start applying for funding like scholarships and grants. Learn how the process works and how you can make the most of the resources out there to reduce college costs.

  1. Scholarship Tips: Check out these helpful tips to learn some better ways to go about looking for scholarships.
  2. Paying for College in a Tough Economy: Times are tough now for almost everyone and many people don’t have the cash to pay for college outright. Learn what your other options are here.
  3. Getting Ready to Pay for College: Prepare yourself to take on the financial burden of a college education with this informative article.
  4. How to Dress for a College Scholarship Interview: Some scholarships may require that you interview in order to get the award. Make you you look your sharpest by following this guide.
  5. College Financial Aid Planning Tips: Find out your financial aid options and what you need to do to pursue them from this site.
  6. Eight Steps To Winning A Scholarship: This step-by-step guide can be a big help in getting you scholarship funds.
  7. An Insider’s Guide to Student Loans: If scholarships don’t cover all your costs, you may need a loan. Check out this guide to learn more.
  8. 35 Scholarships Anyone Can Get: Think there are no scholarships that cater to your abilities? Think again, as this list proves there’s a scholarship for everyone.
  9. How to Pay for College: Those who are unsure how they are going to fund a college education can get some advice on this site.
  10. 8 Offbeat Ways to Pay for College: This guide will give you a few more creative ideas on how to foot those college tuition bills rather than just loans and scholarships.

Getting Accepted

Whether you’re waiting to find out or trying to decide where to go, these cheat sheets are designed to help you keep your sanity intact.

  1. How to Get Off a Wait List: If you’ve been wait listed for a place at a college there may be something you can do as this article discusses.
  2. The Six Most Common Blunders of College Applicants: Learn what not to do when you’re trying to get into school.
  3. Can I Appeal a College Admissions Rejection?: Is no really no? Learn what you can do if you’ve been rejected from a school.
  4. How College Admission Works: If you’re unsure how the whole admissions process functions, this guide can break it down for you.
  5. In or Out: Inside College Admissions: This article from Time magazine details the waiting game and what you can expect for admissions.
  6. My College Admissions Checklist: Have you done everything necessary for the admissions process? This checklist can help you find out if you’re missing any big things that can hurt your chances.
  7. Waiting for College Acceptance Letters: Learn how to deal with the waiting game with a little help from this article.
  8. How to get Accepted to College: Here you’ll find some great tips that can improve your chances of getting accepted.
  9. Dealing with Acceptance or Rejection: Whether you’re in or out, this article can help you deal with the results of the application process.
  10. You’ve Been Accepted: How to Choose?: With multiple acceptances, how do you decide where to go? This guide is designed to help you narrow down what really matters to you.

College Preparation

Before or after acceptance, these tips can help ease you into the college lifestyle.

  1. Preparing for College: An Online Tutorial: Learn how you can prepare for attending college from what to bring to what to expect from courses on this site.
  2. Pack It Up: What to Bring to College: Start packing your bags for college as soon as you get your acceptance letters. This guide will tell you what to bring.
  3. A College Guide to Overcoming Homesickness: If you’re close to your family or have never been away from home for an extended period of time,you may be nervous about being homesick. Read this guide beforehand to give you some tips to make the transition easier.
  4. Are You Ready for College? Alternatives for the Unsure: Are you sure college is right for you? It’s a big commitment in time and money, so if you have your doubts read this article first.
  5. Online Accredited Degrees: Those who are hoping to work while attending school and are considering an online education can find some helpful advice here.
  6. Getting Ready for College Early: Don’t wait until the last minute to get ready to head off to school. These tips will give you a head start on college prep.
  7. What to Do Before Leaving for College: Many students are the first in their family to attend college and have no idea what to do to prepare. This guide can help make the process a little easier.
  8. 8 Things to Do the Summer Before College: Prepare yourself the summer before you begin school by checking out this list.
  9. Simple Tips to Surviving Senioritis and Getting Your Diploma: Getting through that final year of high school can be rough after you’ve already gotten accepted to college. This site can help you fight that senioritis and finish your education.
  10. College Dorm Room Checklist: What to Bring to College: If you don’t know what you’ll need when you go to college this list can break it down to the essentials.

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