Former Admissions Officers Give their Top College Application Tips
For students who are working on regular decisions applications, the next few days are likely to be the home stretch. With many college application deadlines falling on January 1st, some students may be wondering what they can do to give their submissions that special “it” factor.
Given their background as admissions officers at some of the country’s top colleges and universities, our team of expert college counselors has plenty of advice to offer. Keep reading for some of our team’s top tips for students preparing to submit their applications on January 1.
Make Sure Your Application is Complete
In addition to double-checking your work, make sure to review your application as a whole to ensure you’re giving the admissions office everything that they are asking for. From activity lists to letters of recommendation, we know the college application process has plenty of components. Present yourself as a serious applicant who’s on top of their to-do list by double-checking that your submission is complete before you hit send. Remember that once you submit your application, it’s final and you can’t go back and change it. Consequently, it’s important to make sure you feel confident about every section.
Read Over Every Essay
Don’t let a spelling error or missing punctuation detract from an otherwise stellar application or cause you any undue stress. After spending hours compiling submissions, some students may be tempted to skip over rereading their work in an effort to get everything done, but this is some extra effort that’s worth it. To ensure your application is grammatically correct and error-free, set aside time to read through every component. Go the extra mile by reading your essays aloud to get a better sense of how your words sound and to ensure every sentence makes sense. While a simple typo or error won’t ruin your college admissions chances (admissions officers know you’re human!) it can lead students to a lot of sleepless nights wondering if their black belt in “marital” arts will keep them out of their dream school. Save yourself the stress and check and double check your essays.
Don’t Panic if You Feel Behind Schedule
If you’ve fallen behind on your application to-do list, don’t stress. The 2020-2021 admissions cycle has been unprecedented and coping with changes can be challenging. Instead of beating yourself up for falling behind, focus on what you need to do to complete your application by January 1st (or whatever the deadline is for the schools to which you are applying). Even if you only have a few days before the deadline, you can make this time count by prioritizing the big picture tasks and outstanding items that are most pressing. Create a schedule that details how you’ll spend your time, eliminate distractions, and make the most of every minute.
It’s incredibly important for all students to remember that college admissions officers don’t have a cookie-cutter mold for the type of applicant they’re looking for. Instead, admissions officers are searching for motivated students with their own passions that will bring something unique to campus. Consequently, we encourage all applicants to focus on presenting their best selves, rather than attempting to be someone they’re not. Throughout every supplement and essay, make sure your personality shines through and that you’re using your own voice to tell your story.
Once you’ve hit submit, don’t fixate on every application or stress out about what you may have been able to do better. If some of your deadlines are later than January 1st, devote all of your energy towards the applications that are still outstanding. Once you’ve finished submitting your applications, give yourself time to rest and unwind–you’ve certainly earned it!
With many college application deadlines just days away, it’s important to give every submission your all. If you’re currently getting ready to apply to college and looking for expert guidance, our team of admissions counselors can help you create applications that you’re proud of.