Before sending off your application with hopes for admission in your favorite college, check these five tips.
They were inspired by Dave Marcus's article for The New York Times, "Not the Hook the Admissions Office Had in Mind."
Be sure to check out Allen Grove's College Admissions site at About.
1. Make Sure Your Essay Is Appropriate for the School
When we send off applications to several different schools, it's easy to attach the same essay, but if your essay talks about how much you want to be a nurse or a writer or an attorney, make sure the school you're applying to offers the courses and programs that will help you achieve that goal.
2. Don't Use Texting Shorthand
We use texting shorthand so often that it's easy to forget it's inappropriate in the business world. Make sure your grammar and spelling are correct on your college application, and that your sentences are complete. You're trying to make a good impression here. This should go without saying, but you might be surprised how easily we slip into habit.
3. Know Something About Your School's Location
If you're applying at a school across the country, or in another country, do your homework first and know where in the world you're going. Marcus says the admissions office at Gettysburg College, which is in Pennsylvania, often gets essays that mention Virginia or Maryland. You know that raises counselor's eyebrows and makes them question the rest of your facts.
Know where you're going.
4. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread
Marcus gives several examples of silly notes students left in submitted applications because they didn't read through it carefully before sending it off. You know the kind:
- Fix this...needs to sound smarter
- Ask Tim if this is right
- Blah, blah, blah...more about leadership
- Check facts
ALWAYS, proofread your applications carefully, every word, even if you've read a paragraph many times already. It's easy to skip over the little words and the phrases we're so accustomed to.
And check your spelling. Don't rely on spellcheck, which won't tell you that "roll model" should be "role model," as Marcus points out.
5. Don't Stress
This may be easier said than done. It's hard to relax when you want something badly, but stress shows in your writing and, especially, in your interviewing. Relax. When you relax, you reflect your genuine self so much better.
Exude quiet confidence.