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OC HIGH / STUDENT NEWS AND VIEWS : Apply Yourself : Start early and write often if you want to attend the college of your choice, say those who have been through the process. Members of the Class of '96 are advised to start the process now--two years ahead of when they want to pack up and head off to their favorite campus. A guide to getting into college, including a suggested timeline and tips from college-bound students who have been through the tangle. : Been There, Done That: Tips From the Front

July 08, 1994|KAREN LIN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The best advice often comes from people who have been there. Here are some thoughts from college-bound students:

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Q What's the best suggestion you'd give to juniors who will be applying for college?

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"Start early and ask someone who knows how to apply. Get all tests (SAT, ACT, etc.) done early."

Jamie Daughetee, 18

Cal Poly San El Obispo

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"Visit schools before you apply. If you hate them, don't bother working hard on the application. Go for your gut feeling and ignore what everyone tells you. If you're happy there, roll with it!"

Robyn Connolly, 18

University of Arizona

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"If you don't have parents or an older sibling who have been through the process, you're definitely a step behind. Do thorough research on all colleges that interest you."

Sara Goo, 17

USC

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"Apply early. Put serious time into your essays, especially if there will be no interview. High SAT scores don't guarantee admission."

Steven Yang, 18

MIT

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"Try to go for reasonable colleges that you can get into and are not out of your academic range. Go and visit the colleges that interest you. See what it is like and if you feel comfortable there."

Michael Medor, 17

Tulane University

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"Start looking a colleges as soon as possible."

Betsy Runge, 17

Montana State University

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"Go visit the schools you want to apply to now (during the summer)."

Gabrielle Saltzberg, 18

UC San Diego

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"Visit colleges now! If you're thinking of applying back East, make sure you visit those universities as well. Take time in writing your essays and try to use them more than once. Interviews are no problem. Be yourself."

Jennifer Jones, 18

Stanford

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"Start saving now for application fees. They can really add up at $40 to $50 an application."

Melissa Bageant, 17

Ithaca College

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"Make sure it's the school you want to go to and not where someone else wants you to go. Remember, you will be there, not them. Write at least two essays and have a good English teacher read and correct them."

Nghia Ho, 18

UCI

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"Choose your major carefully. Make sure that it is something you enjoy doing for a long period of time because it's going to be your career--probably for the rest of your life."

Marie Hseu, 17

UCI

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"Don't procrastinate. I did most of my applications at the last minute, and I really got an ulcer about it."

Christy Sangster, 18

UCLA

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"Make a biography of all activities, awards and jobs and other facts, so when you fill out your applications, it'll be easier."

Beth Kochendorfer, 17

Northwestern University

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Q If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?

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"I'd have worked harder in high school, because there are light years of difference between Bs and A's. It seems like Bs are average, rather than Cs. I probably would have done more preparation for SAT/ACT achievement tests."

Betsy Runge, 17

Montana State University

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"Don't take your SATs, ACTs and achievement tests at the same time you take your AP tests--if you have any. Take them early so you have time to take them again, and so that you aren't taking them at the end of your junior year--the busiest time of the year."

Elizabeth Stevens, 17

BYU

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"I would have visited more campuses in order to gain a higher understanding of every school I applied to."

Jennifer Jones, 18

Stanford

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"I would take my SATs 50 times. Every time I took them my scores increased, but time ran out."

Robyn Connolly, 18

University of Arizona

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"I'd think more on the pros and cons of each school."

Nghia Ho, 18

UCI

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"I would have started earlier on my essay, because in a short period of time, I didn't have time to revise it again and again until I was satisfied."

Helen Park, 18

UCI

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"I would try to focus on schools which excel in my particular field of interest and not get distracted by visiting beautiful campuses that do not offer my major."

Sara Goo, 17

USC

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"I would have started earlier and applied to fewer schools. (I applied to 10 schools.)"

Beth Kochendorfer, 17

Northwestern University

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"I would have spent more time on my essays and tried to visit the campuses of the schools I was applying to."

Terri Sesay, 18

Princeton

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"I would have started applying a lot earlier. I waited so long to start applying, I didn't get the opportunity to apply to any UC schools."

Melissa Bageant, 17

Ithaca College

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Q Any unusual experiences to share about the application process?

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"I was so nervous for one of my college interviews, I wrecked my car on the way."

Jennifer Jones, 18

Stanford

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"One school sent me financial aid, scholarships and housing forms, yet they never sent me a letter of acceptance. Then two weeks after the reply date, they called to ask if I was going there."

Terri Sesay, 18

Princeton

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