How to Enroll in College—the Right Way

Familiarizing yourself with the college landscape isn’t a one-and-done task.

If your “Plan A” to getting into your dream school involved a half-million dollar bribe to a college insider or a fictitious spot on the university’s crew team, headlines from the last couple of years have probably changed your mind. Not to worry. We’re here to provide some tips and resources to help you enroll in your top college—the right way.


Do Your Research

Male Morris College student studying in a library

Morris College, a UNCF Member Institution

The first step comes down to deciding what you want out of a school and prioritizing those criteria. Figure out what you’re looking for in a college—in terms of size, location, price, academic rigor and student life—and search for schools based on those criteria. College websites include lots of helpful information, but at this point in the process, other online resources geared toward college-bound students such as The College Board and College Scorecard may be even more helpful. On these sites, you can plug in your must-haves for a school and browse a list of colleges that might be a good match.

In addition to online resources, make sure you reach out to the experts. Connect with the college counselor at both your high school and admissions counselors at your favorite universities. Each of these professionals specializes in a different side of the process, and each can provide you with resources to help you find schools you love and put your best foot forward as you apply.


Apply for Scholarships

The college price tag is notoriously intimidating. Few of us are multi-millionaires, but the right scholarship can make an otherwise too-expensive school a feasible option. Apply to the need-based and merit-based scholarships available through individual schools and those offered through UNCF. In the last 77 years, UNCF has helped more than half a million students earn college degrees. Thanks to a scholarship, you may have more options available to you than you previously thought.


Attend events

Group Practicing Interviewing Skills at EMT

Practicing Interviewing Skills at EMT

While there is certainly a wealth of information online, nothing can replace a face-to-face conversation with a college expert. Check out our upcoming events, where you can hear from HBCU leaders, outstanding students who have found success at HBCUs and other key influencers in higher education. Attending a free event hosted by UNCF’s Empower Me Tour (EMT)© is an especially smart and time-efficient choice. Here, you can attend a series of presentations, panels and interactive workshops geared toward college-readiness. Many recruiters at EMT events even offer admissions and academic scholarships on the spot, so if you attend, be sure to bring your high school transcript with you.


Stay Informed

Familiarizing yourself with the college landscape isn’t a one-and-done task. The college application process involves a lot of moving parts, so it can be hard to keep track of what’s new and what’s important. With the right resources in hand, you’ll be well equipped to take on the big challenges and exciting opportunities ahead.

Benedict College's 2017 HCASC Team

UNCF-Member Institution Benedict College