An article in Business Insider this week gave some advice to seniors applying to college. They outline seven key mistakes that students make in the application process, all of which Hughes College Prep can help you avoid committing. Consider Business Insider’s tips in combination with our advice on utilizing the Common Application this season.
Here’s a rundown of what they advise:
- Don’t be generic in your essays. We’ve got you covered.
- Don’t forget to proofread. Double check your essays, but don’t forget to reread every part of your application, including activities and scores. Once an application is submitted, you can’t revise it! So make sure to get it right the first time and have a peer, parent, teacher or advisor look over it with you.
- Fully explain your activities. On most universities’ applications, you get a few lines per activity to explain what your responsibilities, duties, and hours are for each club, sport or leadership activity. Make sure to be concise but give yourself full credit for each — this is the place to explain just how many hours you put in as editor-in-chief of the school newspaper or as the fundraiser coordinator.
- Don’t send low test scores if the school doesn’t require them. If you take the ACT or SAT multiple times, send in your highest scores. Schools will not see your scores unless you submit them. You don’t need to submit the scores every time you take them, and some schools will allow you to superscore (which means you take the highest score from each section of the test). On the Common Application, report your highest overall score and leave off any lower ones. Some schools might make you submit all your scores for every test you’ve taken, so check individual websites before applying.
- Turn your applications in early. We recommend students apply Early Action — a non binding early application — if possible for most of their schools which helps with organization, financial aid priority and hearing back sooner.
- Show interest in colleges beyond just applying. According to Business Insider, “Colleges have started to look in other areas to prove the demonstrated interest of applicants, including looking at students’ social media pages. They notice when students “like” their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter and Instagram.”
- Request letters of recommendation early. Get on your teachers’ good sides and ask early! You’ll get first priority and insure that your teachers have enough time to write you the thoughtful and detailed letter that you want colleges to read.