In part one of the early college planning discussion I discussed the courses to take to impress college admissions officers. In part two I discussed standardized tests that should be considered early in the college admissions process. Part three reviewed the importance of extra curricular activities in the college process. Now let’s discuss why working at a job may help you in the admissions process.
Why would you want to work at a job when there are so many other things to do? Because colleges are impressed to see a student working at a real job. Working at a job requires you to show up at the job when scheduled and preform certain duties. Those things show a college that you have a certain level of maturity.
Also, at the most selective colleges, few students have a job in high school and having a job is one way for you to distinguish yourself from other applicants. If your family has the resources to pay for college without financial aid, having a job distinguishes you even more since so few students with such a background work at a job.
Some jobs can be more helpful than others for college admissions. For instance, if you are a budding author then getting a job in a bookstore will look better than a job at the local burger place. This ties into my past advice regarding extra curricular activities. If you are going to have a job, try to get one that enhances the focus you will be using on your college application.
Working at a job that relates to your area of focus, what ever that may be, will enhance your college application and give you that extra something that may result in admission to that special college.
Next in our early planning series, I will discuss early college visits. Until then…
Lynn M says
I agree, having a job (especially one that relates to the field you are interested in) does make you stand out. It also gives you excellent experience in the workforce and can help you make decisions about your career direction. This experience may not only help you get into college but it will give weight to your resume when you are looking for future jobs (either within college or after college). You’ll also make the transition from school to work much easier with this kind of foundation.