College Applications are a collection of information that tells your story. There are a few key parts to college applications, and they each deserve time and attention:
The actual applications, and most often, the Common Application, offer students a few chances to really show who they are. Because of the sheer numbers of applications that colleges receive (test-optional admissions has increased these numbers), college representatives can only spend about 10-12 minutes evaluating an application. The student must make sure to make a strong impression in this short window of time.
How can your student get across who they are and what they will “bring” to their college campus? Each piece of the application must add something meaningful:
● *The high school transcript is still the #1 most important aspect of the application ….. How are your grades and how much did you challenge yourself?
● *SAT/ACT scores-the test-optional status of most colleges has actually worked AGAINST many applicants! Colleges are receiving record numbers of applications because test scores are no longer an obstacle for students (except in a few states). Therefore, acceptance rates are actually going down for many schools! Strong test scores are an opportunity to showcase the ability to handle a college curriculum. Without them, colleges have less information to go on!
● The Personal Statement/Common App essay- this is an important opportunity for applicants to give the college an idea of who you are as a person in a way that they wouldn’t know from any other section of the application. This is worth A LOT of time and attention. Students must SHOW, NOT TELL who they are!
● Supplemental Essays- not all colleges require these, but they are VERY important to the ones that do! These essays give students a chance to either tell that college WHY they want to go to that particular college, OR to elaborate on an extra-curricular activity of his her choice. When colleges say some of these are “optional”, they really are NOT!
● Activity Section: On the Common App, students have a chance to enter their top 10 extra-curricular activities… what do you do with your time outside of school and how have you made an impact in each activity?
● Teacher Recommendations: who students ask for recommendations should be well thought out….does that teacher know you and can he/she speak to what you will contribute in the classroom and on campus?
If you have questions regarding any or all of these points, call us today!