Acceptance into your dream college isn’t out of reach. With the right approach over the long-term, you can make it a reality. Today, I want to highlight a few of the main points that will help you get into your dream college when you apply. Let’s take a look:


Start Early and Be Prepared

It’s never too early to start thinking about college. It’s realistic for first graders to start thinking about college and planning for future applications. The best approach is to start early and work backward. If you know what school you want to be in, work backward from what they want. What are they looking for financially and academically? When you know this, you know what needs to be done to exceed those standards. 


Embrace Conceptual Math

Most of the time, top colleges want to see students with strong conceptual math skills, as well as English and writing skills. The biggest complaint colleges have is that students aren’t prepared for that. The thing is, stuff like conceptual math can be started as early as the first grade, so there’s no excuse to not prepare. Conceptual math is a method of learning math that means you improve literacy in math, instead of just teaching the general steps of how to do something. Basically, you learn why you have to do things instead of just following orders. For example, you’re finding the area of a square, based on how many little squares you can build inside of it. That’s conceptual, not computing. By building the squares you then understand how you came up with the answer, and then that’s why you know to multiply both sides together. Colleges like people with an understanding of conceptual math as it teaches problem-solving skills and independent learning - both of which are key elements of every college course. 

Learn How to Argue in Writing

When it comes to writing, you need to know how to write an argument and then support the argument clearly. Again, think about the college version of that, which is like research papers and things you need to be able to say. You can write the argument that the grass is green, but you have to follow this up with a supporting argument. It’s green because the chlorophyll inside grass absorbs blue and red light but mostly reflects green light. 


You’re showing that you can make statements, and you can back them up with your knowledge. It’s kind of similar to conceptual math in that the underlying theme is your ability to understand how things work. 


Overall, reading, writing, and conceptual math have become the distinguisher between over-resourced kids and under-resourced kids. Kids that don’t have access to many resources need to advocate for better learning in these departments. Start from a young age, develop these core skills, and most importantly, choose your dreams wisely. To find the dream college that actually fits who you are today, please take our free Bridge to College Survey!

Topics:   college, college admissions, getting into college, America's top college, getting into dream college, finding your dream college