Although college applicants spend a lot of time preparing for the admissions process, they still make serious mistakes that jeopardize their entire academic future. There are few things that frustrate college admissions members. If you want to be admitted in the school of your choice, you should make sure to avoid the pitfalls.
1. Lengthy resumes
Some college counselors misguide students by telling them to write as much information as possible in the resume. Since high-school graduates don’t have much experience to include in this document, they usually end up repeating the same things in different words.
In most cases, you don’t even need to submit a resume. If the college asks you to fill out an application that includes an activity portion, that’s all you’ll need to do. Avoid burdening the board members with documents they don’t have time to read.
2. Submitting a last-minute application
You thought submitting the application on the date of the deadline was harmless? Think again! Mistakes happen. What if the submission system fails? What if your application is lost somewhere in the cyberspace? What if your computer gives up and you lose the important documents? What if your application is incomplete and you don’t have time to update it? Don’t wait for a disaster before you learn the lesson. Submit the application as early as possible.
3. Neglecting the clear directions
Every college provides specific guidelines for new applicants. It may be confusing to read the directions of each school you apply to, but you don’t have another option. Universities report that many American students provide information in the part of the application that’s specifically marked to be completed solely by international students. Be very careful not to do that!
4. Submitting the application without proofreading it
This is a proven recipe for disaster. The online application leaves a lot of space for errors, even if you rely on a spell-check feature. No automatic tool can replace a human editing eye. Make sure to read the things you wrote few times before hitting submit. A single mistake will make you look inattentive.
5. Writing one application essay for all colleges
If you read the instructions, you’ll easily notice that all schools have different requirements. You cannot write a single essay and hope it will fit into all submissions. When you write these papers, think about the features of the schools you’re submitting them to. What made you choose that college? The admission boards pay special attention to these essays, so you have to make a serious effort to write them properly.
6. Disturbing a counselor without any need
Are you one of those applicants who bother people with questions about information that can be easily found? Don’t do that! Make sure to conduct a good research and browse through the school’s website before you ask your questions. The admissions counselor will be glad to help, but you won’t leave a good impression if you ask ridiculous questions.
7. Providing false or inflated claims
The college admission boards will be interested in your extracurricular activities, as well as your talents and interests. However, they won’t be happy if they find out you were lying about it. Remember: all information you provide can (and will) be checked.
The most important thing to remember is to be honest! Follow the guidelines provided by the school, submit the application before the deadline, and you’ll increase your chances for success.