Applying to college can be a nerve-wracking experience. The application process is long and often complicated, frightening many high school seniors. If you are applying to several institutions, their application process may be different, further adding to your frustration. However, there are a few key tips that may help ease some of the stress associated with the college application process.
1) Make Copies
Make several copies of the application. Use the first one as a practice copy. If you do make mistakes, you will have a blank copy to start over on. This ensures your application is free of white out or scribbles.
2) Write Neatly
If your handwriting is not legible, chances are your application will be tossed aside. If you cannot write neatly, type. Also be sure to check spelling and grammar. Often times a few spelling mistakes can cause the committee to think you are careless.
3) Have a Counselor Review It
Have your guidance counselor sit down and review your application. They can ensure that you have accurately filled out each aspect correctly. They will also offer suggestions or feedback.
4) Be Honest
As you are filling out the form, it may be tempting to bump your GPA up a few decimals. However, admission committees will receive your transcripts and will quickly notice any discrepancies. In most cases, one lie can signify the type of student you will be. Instead, be honest. It goes a lot further with the admissions committee.
Many colleges require you provide letter of recommendations from several people. Do not plan on using your grandma or favorite aunt. Instead choose someone who has watched you grow academically over the years and can accurately measure your potential for college. Also, give your recommenders at least 2-4 weeks notice to complete the letter.
6) Send All Required Material
Most likely the school will request transcripts, standardized test scores, letter of recommendations, the application, and the essay. An admissions committee will not review your application if all required materials have not arrived.
7) Review at Least Three Times
Be sure that you have filled out every single section of the application. Proofread for any spelling errors or grammar mistakes. Try to review it once a day for three days before you send it. Also having an English teacher check over it may be a wise idea.
8) Be Specific
If you must write a personal statement, be as specific as possible. Avoid clichés or general statements which may sound redundant to the committee. Instead provide examples or anecdotes that can better shape your application.
Be sure to note each university’s specific application deadlines. They will vary from institution to institution and late applications will not even be considered. On the contrary, applications that are way too early will also be rejected. After you submit all of your materials, call within a few weeks to ensure everything has arrived properly.
If your university has an early admissions program, consider taking advantage of it. You will have your decision early and can start planning for the upcoming year.
10) Follow Up
If your college allows an interview with the admissions committee, be sure to utilize this opportunity. It will show motivation and allow you to leave an impression on the committee. You can look at your application in depth with the admissions committee. Arrive to the interview early and dress professionally.
Rather than applying to 15 or 20 colleges, narrow down your options to the top five before filling out applications. You will save time and money. Before you fill out your first college application, consider these easy tips to help ease the stress.