College Advice to All Applicants                 by Patti Brugman

By Patti Brugman

There are certain areas that any student can build on now for successful college applications later.  Proving that you will thrive, stay in school, and give back to that school are the most attractive features of any student applicant.  To prepare for college success, build up your intellectual curiosity, good study skills, organizational skills, social strengths, and your college savings!  

Intellectual curiosity and good study skills are key attributes that work together.  I always tell students before they take their SATs to love every question.  If they are reading a passage on the mating rituals of the mayfly, think, “This is something I’ve always wanted to know about.”  Your curiosity will drive you to seek the answers you need.  This is true for preparing for the SAT/ACTs and for every class you take.  Finding an inner drive and positive attitude will take you to the top.


Study skills is the other essential component for success.  It breaks my heart to see students who show up late to class, don’t start the homework until right before, or skip reading for pleasure.  Setting up habits should be a habit because habits help your organization. Assign yourself a time and space and spend time doing the work that is required.  You’ll love the results!

Your social strengths include having friends, being a part of groups, working together, and being a leader.  Colleges love students who will be part of the lives of others.  Those students create balance and stability while also educating their friends.  Whatever talents you bring to a campus, be the kind of person who will share them.  You are not only seeking an education, you are becoming an educator.  Think about it and build on that concept. 

Giving back to your community is essential for top college acceptances. Our case studies show that students who think big because they truly care about others are the kinds of students who go to the top in all areas of their lives.  Follow your passion and do something for others that comes from your heart.

Parents can help their students best by saving for college.  Whatever it is that you have and earn, set a percentage aside for education. While financial aid helps, it is not a dream come true.  Save now for later. Add to it by helping your student get good grades that will create a strong transcript, which will create college acceptances, scholarships, and grants.