How to Get Into Your Dream College: 10 Helpful Tips

July 24, 2023 at 4:00 AM
She doesn’t like being photographed so this was a true triumph for me. This is her in her natural habitat.

Getting accepted into your dream college can be a highly competitive and daunting process. However, with proper planning and preparation, you can greatly improve your chances of being accepted into the college of your choice. If you’re wondering how to into your dream college, follow these helpful tips to give yourself the best chance possible.

How to get into your dream college.

Start early.

The earlier you start preparing for college, the better. Begin researching colleges, exploring potential majors, and building a strong academic foundation as early as freshman or sophomore year. This allows you sufficient time to engage in meaningful extracurricular activities, develop relationships with teachers, and plan your high school coursework strategically.

Focus on academics.

Maintaining a strong academic record is crucial for college admissions. Take challenging courses, such as Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) classes and strive for high grades. Colleges want to see that you have pushed yourself academically and have succeeded in challenging coursework.

Pursue your passions.

Engage in activities you are genuinely passionate about. Participate in clubs, sports, community service, or arts organizations that align with your interests. Demonstrating your commitment and leadership in your chosen activities will showcase your dedication and unique strengths to college admissions officers.

Plan for standardized tests.

Research the standardized tests required by the colleges you are interested in and create a study plan accordingly. Take the SAT or ACT exams multiple times to improve your scores. Consider enrolling in test preparation courses or using online resources to familiarize yourself with the format and content of the tests.

Develop strong relationships.

Forge meaningful connections with your teachers. Actively participate in class, seek help when needed, and show a genuine interest in the subject matter. Strong teacher recommendations can greatly boost your application, so make an effort to build relationships with teachers who can advocate for your abilities and character.


Engage in regular community service to demonstrate your commitment to giving back. Find opportunities to help those in need and make a positive impact in your community. Colleges value applicants who demonstrate a concern for others and have a strong sense of civic responsibility.

Research thoroughly.

Take the time to research and understand your dream colleges inside out. Explore the majors, programs, campus culture, and opportunities they offer. This knowledge will not only help you tailor your application to fit the specific college's requirements but also demonstrate your genuine interest when writing your essays and during interviews.

Write a compelling essay.

Craft a compelling and authentic personal essay or personal statement. Use this opportunity to showcase your unique experiences, perspectives, and aspirations. Be vulnerable, honest, and reflective in your writing. Seek feedback from teachers or counselors to ensure your essay stands out.

Hire a counselor.

Consider hiring a private college counselor to guide you through the college application process. A counselor can provide expert advice on college choices, course selection, essay writing, and improving your application. They understand the intricate details of college admissions and can help tailor your application to best position you for acceptance.

Demonstrate interest.

Colleges appreciate when applicants show genuine interest in their institution. Attend college fairs, campus tours, and information sessions. Connect with admission officers through email or in-person conversations. Participate in alumni interviews or virtual events hosted by the college. Each interaction with the college will help you stand out and demonstrate your enthusiasm for attending.

Find out how to get into your dream college.

As a college advisory expert, Education Attainment Services can show you how to get into your dream college with a system backed by decades of experience. We’ll help you prep as early on as you’d like, and we’ll guide you through each step of the process to give you the best chance possible of attending your first choice for higher education. Learn more about how we help students, or contact us today to get started.