Applying to a college is an intimidating task for students who have just graduated high school. When you are browsing through various college requirements and their application process, you may feel you want a specific degree to only answer their questions. Fortunately, a college application isn’t as hard as it seems once you know what to write. You should also avoid common mistakes or myths about college applications that might hurt your chances of getting accepted. This guide will help you make the perfect college application that will catch the attention of the admission officer.
While this part of the application might seem obvious and everyone fills it out. The truth is some applicants omit critical information from this part. Aside from your personal information such as your name, address, school, and so on, you can state your ethnicity, which can be a determining factor in getting accepted if you represent a minority at the college. If your parents attended the same school, it might give special consideration to your application. Don’t forget to include your Social Security number, which schools use to identify applicants.
Grades and Test Scores
The transcript is the first important document to provide with your application which contains your GPA and the classes you have studied in high school. A high GPA improves your chances of getting accepted, but in competitive universities, the quality of classes is taken into consideration as well. Scoring high results in challenging courses, and preferably related to the field of study you are applying for, will show that you are more competent than other applicants. You should aim to score high SAT/ACT scores to strengthen your application. It all depends on the requirements of the college, so try to score higher than the desired college’s requirement.
One of the biggest myths about college applications is that the required essay is not important. It is the only part of the application where you will showcase your personality and your way of thinking to the admission officers. Some universities will ask questions that you should answer in your essay. For those applying to NYU, the NYU essay is well known to be an important factor in the application process. The people that review these essays don’t take these questions lightly, as they want to know about certain characteristics that you have. Admission committees don’t respond well to lying, so make sure to be completely honest while writing your essay. Write about your experiences without exaggeration, specify details to show your thoughts, opinions, and views, and avoid any spelling or grammatical errors as you may get rejected for this reason only. Proofread and edit your essay after finishing it to make sure it will impress whoever is going to read it.
In college applications, you are required to include any extracurricular activities you may have participated in during high school. The activities that you should include are high school clubs, sports, volunteer work, internships, and part-time jobs. Before enlisting all the activities you have participated in, write them down on a piece of paper. For example, a music club won’t be relatable if you are applying for computer science. However, if you have demonstrated leadership, teamwork, or any other skills during any of these activities with tangible results, you must include all the details of this activity.
Letters of Recommendation
Most colleges require at least one letter of recommendation from applicants. They are moderately important in improving your chances of getting accepted. You should ask teachers or school advisors who know you well for a letter of recommendation. If there’s a subject that you do excel in, you should ask that subject’s teacher for a letter of recommendation, especially if their class is connected to the field you want to major in.
Things to Look Out For
There are certain things you should look out for before submitting your application:
Your application must be neat which means it shouldn’t be dirty, stained, or show that it’s been corrected multiple times.
Send your application on time or before time, and that’s why you should prepare for it for at least a month in advance.
Make copies of anything you send with the application in case a document gets lost.
Don't lie about your grade, essays, or any other part of your application as everything gets revised.
If you followed these tips while filling out your college application, you will increase your chances of getting admitted into the school you want. It is important to start early as the process may seem complicated and it will take you some time to gather all the documents and information you need for your college application.