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Michelle Obama’s Tips on the College Application Process

First lady, Michelle Obama, recently spoke to a group of high schools students who were participating in a college immersion program at Georgetown University.  An article in the Washington Post summarized the tips Obama provided on both the college application process and how to succeed once in college.

Highlights of her tips include:

1. “Make sure that you apply.”  This may seem like a basic tip, but many students are often worried about submitting their applications for review.  Yes you will receive some rejections, but you may also receive some acceptances that will surprise you.  You never know unless you apply. The trick is to make sure you list is balanced and that you a reasonable amount of reach, obtainable and of course, “safety” schools.

2.  “Think about how many student loans you can realistically handle.”  While Obama’s conversation with the students seemed to revolve around general thoughts about college cost, we often encourage students to think about the merit aid process.  Think about schools where you will be at the top of the application pool, but also look at schools that are generous with their merit aid funds.

3.  “Take ownership of your college search.”  This is one of the most important tips that Obama offered.  This is your college search, not your parents.

4.  “Push yourself and venture away from home.”  Another great tip.  We have often written about the benefits of looking outside your state for college opportunities.  It is a great time in your life to explore new areas of the country.

5.  “Don’t let fear guide you.”  Similar to the first tip, you never know what will happen unless you put yourself out there.  Obama also pointed out that students need to make decisions based on how they see themselves, not how they think other see them.

6.  “Work your butt off.”  Yes, a direct quote from the first lady, and she is right.  Work hard now, while you are in high school and continue to work hard once you reach your college goal.

Overall, the first lady definitely offers some great words of encouragement and advice.  Who knows where your college process will take you?

Katherine Price

Educational Consultant

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