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College Planning Overview


If you are one of the eight million high school students planning for college, you probably have lots of questions. InLikeMe offers lots of answers along with great information and advice from college insiders, professional counselors, and successful applicants.

If you are a high school junior, sophomore or freshman ready to get a jump start on planning for college — kudos to you. An early start will give you some extra time to define your goals, size up your interests, strengths, and weaknesses, and make yourself attractive to college admission officers. If you are a senior, and just getting started — don’t worry — there is still a lot you can accomplish even in a short period of time.

There is no secret sauce or magic recipe for college admission; however, knowledge of the process and thoughtful planning coupled with a winning attitude will significantly improve your chances of success.

Getting Accepted: Eleven Key Factors Colleges Look For in Applicants

Colleges and universities seek a diverse and balanced student body of motivated, involved, and qualified students with genuine interests, impressive achievements, interesting talents & experiences, sound character, and real personalities – all with the potential to “fit in” and be an asset to the school. Find out what admissions officers look for in applications, essays, interviews, recommendations, and extracurricular activities.

Finding Direction: Assessment Tools for College & Career Planning

If you are a high school student without a clear direction about your future, you are not alone. Most high school students (and older people, too) can benefit from additional self-knowledge about their personality type, interests, strengths & weaknesses, and likes & dislikes. In terms of college planning, self-awareness can help you define goals and select a college environment, academic major and career that suits you. Find out about some excellent self-assessment tools (many of them free and fun!) available to you.

Strategic Positioning – Creating Your “Wow Factor”, “Dazzle” or “Hook”

In past years, successful applicants to competitive colleges were often well-rounded high-achievers. These days there is a growing preference, especially at the most selective schools, to admit high achievers who are also “angular” or “focused” candidates. These students possess a special activity or unusual characteristic that sets them apart from other applicants. Learn how you can stand out from the pack.

Why Go To College?

If your reason for planning to attend college is because “my parents expect me to” or “all my friends are going” – think again… It is important for you to have your own clear reasons for going to college. This article may inspire and motivate you.

“Gap Year” Opportunities

Going to college straight out of high school isn’t right for everyone. In fact, a year of doing something else can help you grow and mature in ways that will enhance the value of your college education. The “gap year” is very common in England, Australia, and other countries. Learn about worthwhile volunteer, study, travel, work, or post-grad year opportunities.

Choosing Your High School Curriculum

Your high school record – the courses you’ve taken and how well you’ve done — is generally considered the most important factor in college admissions. Find out what colleges are looking for.

Getting Acquainted With College

Checking out college web sites, visiting a college (any college) and attending a college fair – these are all great ways to start the planning process and get acquainted with what college is all about.

Building Your College Admissions Team

Planning and applying for college is a major effort. The experience is probably brand new, and it’s also extremely important. There’s no need to go at it alone. You can benefit from the support and advice of people you know and trust.

Private College Admissions Counselors: Do I Need One?

You’ve probably heard success stories about students who have hired private advisors and may be wondering if a private counselor would be a smart investment for you. A private college admissions consultant can be a great resource to provide guidance and navigational expertise.

Standardized Test Scores: How Important? How to Improve?

SAT/ACT scores are a major admissions factor at most colleges. Not only do high scores improve your chances of acceptance, but they can also lead to significant scholarship money. Those who say you can’t prep for the SAT and ACT tests are wrong. Learn about “can’t miss” opportunities to boost your scores.

College Planning List and Timeline

The path to college is a long and winding road. It’s easy to fall behind and miss important milestones. The InLikeMe planning list and timetable can help you stay on track and be successful.

Lynn Radlauer Lubell, Publisher of and Founder of Admission By Design, an Educational Consultancy based in Boca Raton, Florida.

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