Admission News

The Best Way to Navigate Your College Application


Wait! You may think you have completed your college applications, but have you really? That is, have you done the best you could to put out an application that colleges you are applying to will notice?

Here are some parts of your college application you might want to revisit and rethink before sending it off.

1. The Writing Supplements –The Common Application and its essay are not the only important parts of a college application. Most colleges also require more writing, not always long essays, but answers in a paragraph or two. If you have not spent as much time on each individual college’s supplemental questions as you have on the Common Application itself, you may have missed something important or not answered fully.
One supplement that you often find is “Why are you applying to X?” This is a question about fit. It requires you know particulars about their college, like professors’’ names, specific activities offered, and specialty courses. The college is also asking you what you will contribute to their school and its community and how you will do so. You may want to look at our article on how to write this supplement.

2. Your Activities List – Have you really thought about ALL you do? This list can cover more than school activities, and many students forget to include these or think they don’t count. Think about what you do for your church, your community, your family, at work. And, be specific about the time you spend at each. Don’t underestimate. Think also about how much money you raise or manage, how many recruits you have snagged, what the attendance at your activities is. Be sure to also include any honors and recognitions, even if it’s a small party of thanks!

3. The Whole Kit and Kaboodle – Does your application as a whole sell you as an individual? Look back over your entire application: activities, honors, courses taken, the essay (s). Are you the typical “does-everything-well student” or is there something about you that is special. If you love collecting antiques or baseball cards or if you have hiked all the mountains in your vicinity or if you know the name of every dinosaur that ever lived on this earth, that sets you apart more than being the president of your class. Now, should you rewrite your essay or include an activity you had not bothered with?

This is a stressful time for high school seniors, and time is very limited. But, you do this once. It’s best to do it as well as you can.