Review from a Successful Applicant

Overview

All of us at S2S are here to help you achieve your higher education goals, but it’s not a one-way street. Our services achieve the best results when our applicants are proactive in working with us. To help give future applicants a better idea of what this might entail, the following section was put together by Sang, a former Army infantryman and current Columbia School of General Studies student. Sang will talk about what he felt allowed him to make the most out of what we offer.

Review from a Successful Applicant

Sang B. Ra, 3rd Infantry Regiment, United States Army

March 06, 2014

Service to School can help you achieve acceptance into your target school. That being said, they can only take you as far as you are willing to go. The sooner you contact S2S, the better they can assess your situation and advise the proper training towards your ultimate goal. Arguably the most import part of applying to schools is the personal statements/responses. Besides your GPA, service and activities, these essays are what schools use to evaluate you. The college application process is not only stressful and arduous but can be financially costly as well. Make sure to budget and save enough money to pay not only for your application but other fees associated with the application process. Don't lose sight of your goal and stick with it.

Under guidance from Service to School, I was able to take the proper training to fulfill my potential as an applicant. Their initial assessment of my GPA and test scores resulted in instructions on how to make myself a stronger candidate. I am not nor have ever been a strong tester. S2S was able to suggest the best study aids to work with to best fit my study habits. Aids such as in class test prep, online test assistance or texts. Whatever works best for you.

Writing an essay is not something I am skilled at. With the assistance from Service to School, I was able to accurately and eloquently present myself in my personal statements. Their tireless effort would have been in vain, had I not put in the effort to rewrite my essays with their edits and submit them as quickly as possible. Depending on writing ability, there can be anywhere from 3-6+ drafts for a single essay. I usually received an edit within 12 hours of a draft submission and re-drafted and submitted on the day of receiving the edits. I cannot stress enough the importance of sending the drafts in a timely manner. A potential 3 draft-2 day essay can easily turn into a week long endeavor. Multiply that by the number of school applications and the average number of essays per application (usually 2) and application deadlines will be missed. It is vital that essays be rewritten and submitted as soon as possible.

With all the back and forth of essays and edits, it is very easy to mix up the essays and edits. One possible solution would be to work on one essay at a time and arrange each draft and edit in chronological order in a dedicated folder for college essays. Another possible solution is labeling each file with [school name, question#, and draft/ edit #] and save to a dedicated essay folder. These small step will ensure that no time be lost due to resubmission of already edited drafts.

Applying to schools can be a financial burden. Plan accordingly through saving and budgeting. There are schools that waive application fees for veterans, but from my experience, those are the exceptions and not the rule.

Standardized testing (SAT or ACT): Roughly $60 to $100 to take a test and send scores.

Application fee: roughly $75 for every school.

Transcript delivery fee: $10 to $15 each.

Note from Editors: You may be able to waive some of the costs through your community college. Visit your financial aid office for more details. You may also want to call your potential school and find out if they offer application fee waivers.