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Prepare for success after college before attendance

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This year acceptance rates at elite colleges dropped according to the Los Angeles Times on April 21.
This means many qualified students received rejection or wait list letters. These same students also may have applied to and received offers of admission to less popular schools providing a great education, programs and extracurricular activities.

Also on April 21, runners crossed the finish line in the Boston Marathon, according to CNN. It is a long haul race requiring planning, preparing and determination. The college-bound may be inspired by the marathon runners and prepare for their own personal victories from college acceptance, attendance and beyond. Here are five ways to begin.

Make lemonade from lemons
Make lemonade from lemons Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for The New York Culinary Experience

Make lemonade from lemons

Realize now that colleges do not offer admission to all qualified applicants. Higher education is a big business. Rejection is a part of life and turning a negative into a positive is a life skill that will lead to future happiness and success. Make a college education a savvy consumer purchase.

Plan B
Plan B Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Plan B

Plan B’s exist to deal with situations when things don’t go as planned. Figuring out alternatives is a very useful life skill. For college choice, research schools carefully to select only those the student will be happy to attend. Make sure each school on the list has educational and recreational activities in the location the student most desires.

Strike a balance
Strike a balance Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Strike a balance

Life is multi-faceted with both academic and extra-curricular pursuits. Students like their parents thrive when they find a balance between studies/work and outside interests. Find a sport, club or hobby to complement school and future career or just add some fun and community service throughout life. Get a double benefit by including these interests on college applications.

Set goals
Set goals Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Set goals

Understand the difference between wants and needs. Needs are must have now and wants are things to achieve. A college degree may be a need but attending a particular school is a want. Students may learn about the school's eligibility requirements and compare them to their own qualifications. This will show whether the school is a safety (student exceeds requirements), target (student meets requirements) or reach (student doesn’t yet reach requirements but really wants to attend). Focus on improving to increase qualifications, chances for admission and options in general throughout life.

Find the bliss
Find the bliss Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Find the bliss

Success means different things to different people. It is a personal feeling of well-being. It is a mix of people and things, work and downtime. Success flows from choices so practice good decision-making skills. This will be extremely useful in picking a college, major and job as well as choosing friends and an affordable lifestyle.

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