A Shifting College Landscape

Applying to College

We believe strongly in the value of diversity on college campuses and that what makes you unique is an asset. If you’re thinking about college, we’re committed to making sure students like you and from all backgrounds can be found by colleges – especially in the wake of the June 2023 Supreme Court decision. The decision limits how colleges consider racial status as a factor in the admissions process.

So what can you do now to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward? Our guidance below can support you on your journey to college.

First, the choice to go or not go to college is yours to make, so don’t let the ruling discourage you. 

You may still be figuring out if college is the best next step for you. Whatever you decide, remember you belong in college. Colleges and universities want to admit students, not deny them, and they value a diverse campus that better reflects the rich world around us.

Remember to stay true to who you are in the application process. Colleges want to get to know you, so it’s important to be your authentic self.

  • Think about your talents and skills. What are the things you know or do well? What are character traits you value? These are important things to share with colleges, so write those down. 
  • Explore your interests during high school by joining clubs and after school programs or taking an elective. Reflect on those activities. What do you enjoy the most and why? Write it down.

Find a caring adult to talk to during the application process. 

Your counselors and teachers are also learning more about the impact of the ruling, so while they might not have all the answers, they can help you think through how to best share your story with colleges. 

  • Ask your teachers how you are doing in school and what you can do better. 
  • Ask your parents or family members to talk to your teachers about what is going well and what is not.  
  • Talk to someone about how you can best highlight your background and experiences in your college essay or personal statement.
  • If you have a teacher or caring adult writing a letter of recommendation, share your list of talents and skills with them. It can help them better highlight your strengths.

Explore our programs and services that can help in planning for college.

  • Get an idea of your options for college. You can start with Career Search to explore careers that match your interests and see what education or college those careers require. Then on College Search, you can find 4,400 profiles of four-year, two-year, and certification programs. 
  • See if you qualify for our National Recognition Programs. The programs are for top-performing students who identify as African American and Black, Hispanic and Latino, Native American and Indigenous, first-generation, or attend a high school in a rural or small town. If you qualify for the award, it’s a signal for colleges to find you during their recruitment. 
  • Sign up for AP courses, dual enrollment or IB courses. If your school offers them, it’s a great way to show colleges that you have experience with rigorous coursework. Plus, the courses offer college credit which can help make college more affordable. 
  • Take the PSAT in 10th grade. That is one way to help colleges find you earlier in high school. If you’re a junior or senior, take the SAT. Even if the colleges you’re considering don’t require it, taking the test gives you the option to share your score. When you get your score, you can decide if it would help strengthen your application. 

Check back often as we help make sense of policy changes that are impacting colleges and careers and what that means for you.
 

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