Being a senior in high school, you already know that there is a lot of work to be done just before the college admissions season. Everything comes down to your college application and what good it does to your chances of getting accepted.
Your application must look appealing to your dream college and even a tiny careless mistake can push it off the desk and into the dumpster like hundreds of others.
So what can you do to get it right and make sure that you don’t get rejected?
First off, you need to look up all the college reviews and ratings to understand where you should be applying and where you will be accepted. Make a list of 12 colleges at least before you start sending out applications.
Once you’ve numbered the list in order of priority, you must follow certain rules to draft the perfect college application.
Spend more time preparing and less time thinking
A good college application takes up a good amount of your time and consideration to get right. Budgeting some extra time frees up your space to do the necessary research, understanding the college requirements, and avoiding the mistakes that could kill your chances.
It’s imperative that you apply to multiple colleges, which means filling up multiple applications. Set aside about 100 hours as it takes that much work and time to fill up about 10 to 12 college applications.
This ensures that you’re free from last minute jitters and your paperwork goes hasslefree, without cutting too close to deadlines.
So set this time limit, and feel happy if you finish up much before that.
Keep a reminder for the submission deadlines
Different colleges have different deadlines but they all fall close to each other in a specific timeframe. Early college applications happen between November 1st to November 20th and as a rule, early applicants cannot apply to another college till they get the decision for the first.
The deadlines for regular applications fall between January 1st and February 1st, when you can send out all the applications that you’ve filled up before. Make sure you don’t miss out on these important dates. Submission deadlines can be unforgiving.
Prioritize every application as equal
When you apply to a few colleges as an added backup, do not let them know that. When you’re asked if you’ve applied to any other colleges, don’t give a blatant “No” as a reply. Name a few other colleges which you’ve applied to that have a similar or lower authority.
It makes them believe that you are a serious applicant with a genuine interest and are not applying as a last resort.
Collect your high school transcripts on time
With the busy schedule, you often forget to inform your high school about the colleges that you’re applying to and call in the necessary records.
Contact the school authorities much before you start filling the applications, keeping in mind the submission dates so that the transcripts arrive at the right time.
Honesty matters. Keep it real
Many rookie applicants make the mistake of claiming fake accomplishments to make their college application stand out and look attractive. But remember that the recruiters conduct a background check to verify your claims.
Be real and honest with your accomplishments and true to your desire to be a part of their community.
Write your best college essay
Your college essay is the most important element of your application. It must portray who you really are and why your deserve to be accepted as a student. Many a times, the colleges consider your essays over your academic records and hence it’s very valuable to up your chances.
Spend most of your time on how to express yourself in the right way, and draft the perfect college essay.
Get good recommendations
Certain colleges (if not all) require you to submit one or more recommendations from your teachers as a test for character analysis. Always know that the best recommendations come from the teachers who know you both in and out of the class. They can account for your performance and contribution to the school community.
So build a good rapport with your teachers who have a certain stature in the society and make them believe why you deserve a positive word from them.
Do not be passive in an interview
The college admissions committee can make the interview intimidating, but stay calm and answer all questions in an engaging manner. Be confident, avoid one word answers and keep the conversation flowing.
Use the interview to raise questions that you may have about the curriculum and the college. Feel free to cross question them and raise issues that’ll carry the interview ahead. Be talk worthy and stay on track, but be intelligent to know when to stay quiet as well. No one likes a blabbermouth.
Take a backup of all documents
Keep a complete record of all the documents, letters, communications, and applications that you’ve already sent out. Save a softcopy and keep the printouts in a separate file (Maybe titled College Application) for your ready reference and if need arises.
Confirm that you’ve made a proper submission
It is unlikely that you miss out on submitting any documents if you’ve been cautious. But, just to be confident and absolutely sure, contact every school you’ve applied to and confirm that they have received every document as was needed.
If you did miss out or if anything was lost in transmission, you could send it over immediately.
Hurry up! The admissions season is here. A good college application is what separates you from that dream college you always wanted to be in. Choose wisely, stay ahead and build a great career. All the best!