As it comes time to finish up college applications (good luck seniors and transfers!) I thought I would give a few tips for the college search process. These don’t just apply to FIT – use them anywhere!.
When you fill out info cards for schools, or admissions applications, I would encourage you to use a professional email. Make one that is your first and last name, and if it is taken try and find a way to adapt it. Not only will having an email that is your name be good for college applications now, but in the future when applying to jobs it will come in handy. If your name is typical, you might need to get creative with periods and underscores but I think having a good email is so important. Even if you have one with your high school, consider using a generic hosting service. You won’t always be a student at that school, and this is a great way to start branding yourself!
Check Your Email Often
To go along with the above point, check your email frequently! You never know what important emails might be sent your way, whether from admissions or asking for additional information. A daily glance should be plenty, but don’t ignore it in case something important is sent your way.
This may sound silly but if there is any part of your application that is hand written, or if you fill out a card at a fair, use your best penmanship! If admissions counselors and those that work in the office cannot read what you wrote, it might hold up the process of getting you in the system or be misread. If you’re at a college fair, I have seen some students come with “business cards” with information about them, or even stickers to put on info cards. Get creative!
Talk to Current Students
If you can, see if you can meet current students at the schools you’re interested in. Ask them about stuff like the campus, food, student experience, things you won’t learn about on the website or a tour. Another thing I love to point students to is YouTube. FIT students especially love to vlog and show their lives and dorms. It’s a great way to see what student life actually looks like on a day to day basis, the struggles and the fun stuff.
Visit During the Semester, on a Class Day
If at all possible, visit a school when class is in session. FIT is a very different place Tuesday at 1pm and Sunday at 10am. While visiting during summer or winter break may be the only time you can come, I would really recommend trying to be here when the majority of the student body is here to see what the student body and campus culture is really like. When the weather is nice, loads of people hang out in the breezeway and we have fairs and flea markets.
Writing Your Admissions Essay
Make sure to really read the prompt. FIT has a specific question they want you to answer. Your admissions chances will greatly improve with quality essays instead of quantity. Take the time for every school you apply for to tailor your response to their prompt and their mission as a school.
Good luck in your applications process! Take a deep breathe and trust the process.