The College Admissions Process From the Perspective of Two MODG Seniors

Thomaseagle, licensed under CC BY 3.0.

My name is Abby Chapman, and my college admissions journey started in September. At the beginning of September, I had decided what colleges I wanted to apply to. I decided on applying to TCU, Texas A&M, University of Texas at Austin, Loyola Marymount, UCLA, Chapman, Pepperdine, Loyola New Orleans, Tulane, NYU, and LSU. A lot of people thought I was crazy applying to this many schools! My mindset behind this was I wanted to stay open-minded.

Here are some tips regarding the admission process. Number one, do not apply to schools you cannot imagine yourself at. Number two, do not set your mind on one school you want to go to. You have to be open. One of the aspects I do not think people prepare you for is how much actually goes into applying to college. If you are planning to apply to as many as ten schools, you need to start in August (if you are applying Early Action/ Early Decision). If you plan to apply in the regular term, around January, you need to start around October.

The main aspect that needs to be emphasized on your application is the essay and the short answer questions. The admissions committee wants to get to know you. They want to read a detailed story with your emotions. Colleges look to see if you stand out from the crowd. It’s good if you belong to honor societies; you want to also have unique extracurriculars, good ACT/SAT scores, and experiences that not many other people have.

Many colleges today use a holistic review which is the evaluation of the whole person. This helps many people who do not have the greatest ACT or GPA. If you do not have a good test score keep in mind that most schools are test-optional! However, with that being said, some schools require online school/homeschool students to submit a test score to see proficiency. Be aware of that and do the absolute best you can do on the ACT/SAT. Prepare early to maximize your score. Also, I highly recommend applying to colleges that use the holistic review because it is more realistic.

The hardest part of the process is waiting. Do not go on youtube and watch college acceptance videos. It can be a little discouraging and unrealistic. Remember, the application is out of your hands! Just let them see how unique and superb of a candidate you are! And trust me, God will lead you to the place you are meant to be!


My name is Tate Chapman, and my college admissions journey has been exciting and tiring! I applied to eleven schools ranging from state schools to Christian schools. Those ten included the University of Texas at Austin, TCU, Texas A&M, LSU, Loyola University New Orleans, Tulane, NYU, UCLA, Loyola Marymount, Chapman, and Pepperdine. I chose a variety of schools because I believe it is crucial to be open-minded to various schools. Be open to new experiences and dare to step out of your comfort zone!

A lot of people ask “How do I apply for college?” Well, it’s actually pretty simple! There are many college online application tools. I recommend using CommonApp, which is a universal college application, because it works for many schools. I used CommonApp for eight out of eleven schools. I used coalition for college (another universal online application) on two schools. And I used the UC application, which works for all UC schools. However, I only applied to one UC school. If you plan to apply to all UC schools, then their application system would be very helpful.

Now on to more specific application details. You need to write an essay; some schools want a resume, creative supplements, ACT/SAT scores, short answer questions, transcripts, and recommendation letters. The essay is the perfect opportunity to showcase the challenges you overcame and your experiences that make you stand out from others. Oftentimes, if you have an exceptional essay and life story, a college will be interested because they want unique students to be a part of their program. Write the best essay you can write! Pick a prompt you can relate to the most and really hone in on what makes you stand out from the crowd. Tell your story in your own words and stay true to your writing style. Make the essay sound like it is you speaking and bring emotion into your essay. Colleges have read thousands of essays, so it is crucial to write about something you believe not many other people have experienced. Don’t write about something basic like “How I overcame my math struggles,” as that is an overused topic that colleges won’t be interested in. Be bold and brilliant.

Lastly, it is important to remember that college does not define you! The school you go to will not determine your future success. Stay true to yourself and trust the process. Remember that it is the school’s job to look out for you and see if you are the right fit for their program. If you aren’t the right fit, it is ok! What’s meant to be is meant to be!