College Shortcuts by Neha Gupta

5 Ways to Make The College Application Process Less Stressful and More Successful

Four million students will apply to college this year, and RIGHT NOW countless families are dealing with stress and conflict as they hurry to meet the 12/31 college application deadline.

Colleges are more selective than ever this year. GPA and test scores open the door, but they don’t guarantee admission anymore.

As you navigate this process with your parents, here are five ways you can help make the process less stressful and more successful.

1. Start Early. Don’t wait until you are a senior in high school to start thinking about college. These days colleges are more competitive than ever and students that start thinking about college early stand out compared to those that don’t.

2. Get involved. Getting involved in leadership programs and community service is very beneficial to your future. A stellar GPA and test scores are great, but that alone is not enough when colleges see that applicants are involved with leadership and community service programs that can give them a leg up.

3. Create a unique admissions narrative. As you draft your admissions essay, find a key story that demonstrates your unique talents, goals and aspirations. In a sea of qualified applicants, a unique and powerful admissions narrative is an important step.

4. Hire a professional college consultant. On average, for every 400 high school students, there is ONE guidance counselor. College consultants are students that have recently gone through the college application process and they have just a few students rather than hundreds- giving them the ability to work closely with you through the stressful process.

5. The X-Factor. What is going to differentiate you from the other 4 million applicants? The X- Factor is a way for students to realize what strengths they have that make them unique and stand out. The X-Factor includes making a unique resume angle, strong essay strategy, learning the interview process, getting great letters of recommendation and applying for scholarship money.

Getting into college is a stressful process and competition is fierce. The stress can sometimes tear relationships apart. Parents fighting. Teenagers butting heads with their parents. It can become an unnecessary mess, but utilizing these tools will help you go from a super achiever to a superhuman being.

Neha Gupta headshot.jpgAbout the Author: Neha GUPTA is a three-time best-selling author and founder of College Shortcuts. For more information, please visit

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