If you are thinking about college, make sure to take time with your applications. There are some very common mistakes that prospective students make when completing these often-time consuming materials that could flag your application or cause you to be denied admission.
Ten common mistakes that students make when applying to college are:
- Not proofreading. Typos and misspellings can glare from the page to those reviewing essays and applications for admission. Make sure to have someone proofread it or hire an editing company to read your essay.
- Poor handwriting. Make sure to take time to prepare your materials and type everything to ensure it is easily read by admission committees. Don't ever hand write your essay or application, even if your penmanship is neat.
- Sending incomplete information. Another common misnomer is failure to provide complete contact info for references, work experience, or other details that might get picked-up on by admissions. Flag incomplete sections to remind you to fill these in later, before the application is sent.
- Writing too much or too little. Pay close attention to word-count in your essay or personal statement. Writing too much is just as bad as writing too little; admission counselors are busy, and may not take time to finish reading applications that don't follow specific word-count instructions.
- Failing to follow directions. Another sure-fire way to have your application passed-over is by not following directions. Read carefully; some instructions may seem insignificant, but make sure to follow them. This may regard the content, formatting, or even how the college wants the materials attached when sent for review.
- Forgetting to mention accomplishments. Make sure to mention your achievements and accomplishments whenever possible. This is not the time to be humble or shy.
- Not explaining gaps. Explain any gaps in your academic or work history, just as you would if applying for a job. This prevents any concerns or curiosity related to what you did during these lulls.
- Not keeping a copy of all materials sent. Keep a copy of all the materials sent, as well as the date that these were forwarded to the institution. This is helpful in the event your application packet is lost, misplaced, or doesn't arrive on time.
- Not taking time to write from the heart. Copy write essays and personal statements from the heart; take time to mull over the prompt or question and put your own spin on it, which can give admission representatives a peek into your personality and candor.
- Providing inadequate postage. Provide enough postage on mailed materials so that it won't be returned to you, which could cause you to miss important deadlines. One way to prevent this is to send items electronically in a nice, convenient attachment to the institution, unless otherwise instructed.
Avoid making these ten common mistakes when filling out your college application materials. Have a trusted teacher, friend, or editing business look at your essay and application before sending it in, as a pair of fresh-eyes may catch errors that could slip by. For more advice, work with a college essay editing service like Crimson and Ivy.