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Five College Application Tips


Imagine the feeling of four years of hard work yielding your child’s greatest dream: Admission to their first choice college.

Now imagine all of that hard work going by the wayside due to a poorly completed application.

Here are five tips to help the college see a true picture of your student’s high school experience:

1. Understand Which Application(s) to Complete When: Does the school accept the Common Application? Do they want their own application? Is it some combination? It is imperative to know what is mandatory, what is optional, and when to complete the application.

2. Prioritize: Focus on the most recent accomplishments and don’t try to squeeze in every activity for the past four years. Colleges want to see quality from students, so describing tangible successes in two activities is far more valuable than a laundry list of clubs.

3. Brevity is the Soul of Wit: In the context of the college application process, this Shakespearean adage means that the best applications will utilize as few words as possible to drive home the desired impression. Fewer words = a more effective application. Put simply, the process of successfully completing an application is not meant to be rushed or shortchanged.

4. Review the Application Thoroughly: After all of the hard work the applications require, it is foolish to let a mistake hinder personal goals at the finish line. This is the time for your son or daughter to put their best foot forward. Careless mistakes detract from the goal of success in the application process. Check punctuation, spelling and grammar before clicking submit.

5. Provide Additional Materials When Possible: Some schools will not take consider additional materials. However, checking with each school to determine if additional materials will be considered is very wise. Colleges notice that extra mile.