College admissions is one of the most important parts of the high school experience. It can also be a significant source of stress for students and their parents—especially as they try to keep up with the many other demands of high school.
First things first: take a deep breath. The journey you’re about to take may feel daunting, but you can do this—and you don’t have to do it alone. At Signet, we work with families like yours every year, providing college admissions support that sets students up for success in college, career, and life.
Here you’ll find a roundup of our best college admissions resources to help you along the way.
While the bulk of the college admissions process takes place during junior and senior years, it’s never too early to begin thinking about what lies ahead. Freshmen and sophomores don’t need to take any specific actions relating to college admissions quite yet. However, they can (and should) challenge themselves academically, keep their grades up, engage in activities that interest them, and develop a high school road map.
Knowing what lies ahead—and planning for it—can help reduce stress levels by demystifying the college admissions process and making it feel surmountable. Here are some resources to get students started:
The College Admissions Process
The college admissions process involves numerous elements, including (but not limited to) visiting colleges, developing a college list, writing a personal statement, filling out the college application, applying for financial aid, attending an interview, and deciding between acceptances.
Staying on top of the process as much as possible makes it significantly easier. Here are some helpful resources:
Our Approach to College Admissions
- An Intentional Approach to College Admissions
- Signet’s Guide to College Admissions
- College Admissions for Complex Students
- When to Start Planning for College Admissions
- Admissions Consulting and School Counseling Go Hand in Hand
- How to Get the Most Out of Financial Aid for College
Choosing the Right College
- How to Build a Stellar College List
- The Current Reality of College Visits
- What Should I Do with All This College Mail?
- Signet’s Guide to College Visits
How to Stand Out
- How to Stand Out in the College Admissions Crowd
- How Summer Activities Boost College Applications
- Do Extracurriculars in High School Still Matter?
SAT and ACT Test Prep
- What’s a Good SAT or ACT Score?
- Standardized Testing in Fall Semester
- Study for the SAT/ACT in Eight Weeks
- 10 SAT and ACT Test Prep Tools and Resources
- SAT and ACT Frequently Asked Questions
- Signet’s Guide to SAT/ACT Preparation
Going Test Optional
- Are Colleges Moving Away from Standardized Testing?
- SAT, ACT, or Go Test Optional?
- What Does Test Optional Mean for My Junior?
- Does My Student Need to Take the SAT or ACT This Year?
- 5 Tips for Successful College Applications
- Summer: The Time for College Applications
- Dos and Don’ts of College Recommendations
- Early Action or Early Decision: Last-minute Help for Seniors
- Need to Finish College Applications Quickly?
Tell Your Story
- Personal Statement Essay Prompts
- 6 Tips for Transforming a College Essay
- The True Value of a College Essay
- Write Your Perfect College Essay: A Video Guide
- Signet’s Guide to the Essay
Communicating with Admissions Offices
- How to Talk to College Admissions Officers
- What Kinds of College Interviews Are There?
- What Should I Wear to My College Interview?
College Admissions Consulting at Signet
If you need support navigating the college admissions process, Signet’s experienced admissions consultants—together with our writing specialists and analysts—can work with you one-on-one to provide expert guidance every step of the way.
The Signet Method for college admissions follows these three steps:
- Discovering the best schools to match a student’s interests, abilities, values, and personality
- Planning a student’s application, including taking steps to improve their candidacy, researching school options, brainstorming essays, and creating a list of schools that match their needs.
- Working throughout the ups and downs to help students frame their personal narrative and present themselves cohesively in all elements of their application.