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Top 10 College Application Pitfalls to Avoid

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If you are a high school senior, all odds are, you are up to your neck in the college application process by now. No doubt, it is a very challenging and nerve-wracking process. A college-bound student has too many things to think of, such as writing an essay, attending college interviews, preparing and taking the SATs or ACTs, gathering recommendations etc. No wonder then that being so overbusy, students often make fatal mistakes that can cost them getting into college of their dreams.

Today we will talk about some of the most commonly made blunders to watch out for and discuss ways to avoid them:

  • Not being prepared and missing deadlines. Although the admission process itself usually starts a year before a student will have to complete his college applications, too few people actually want to take advantage of this time and prefer to fool around for a whole year and do nothing. And then when the time is running out, they rush headlong into writing essays and preparing application packets. What is important to remember here is that the process is filled with all sorts of deadlines and missing one can result into a letter of rejection.
  • Trying to put their best foot forward many students often fail to be honest on their essays or during one-on-one interviews. Remember all the information you provide is likely to be thoroughly verified. So unless you want to look like a liar, try to avoid telling things that are not true. It is better to focus on your strengths and qualities that you are proud of.
  • Failing to notify your school counselor on your decision to apply to a college online. This can have a number of negative consequences such as missed deadlines for emailing high school transcripts, letters of recommendation etc.
  • Not knowing what should or should not be included into your college application resume.
  • Being impassionate. College admission officers do not have a chance to meet you in person that is why they reckon you up based on what they see in your resume or read in your essay. In order to be remembered and subsequently accepted you have to try hard to stand out of the crowd. Show them all your passion. Not having a hobby or not being socially involved will greatly cripple your chances of getting into the college.
  • “Black-and-white” thinking when answering college applications questions. Many potential college students make a mistake trying to answer college applications questions “appropriately”. It is wrong to think there can only be two possible answers to a question. They can be many and various. Admission officers will want you to be creative and enthusiastic, think out-of-the-box.
  • Social detachment and insensibility to other people’s needs. Admission boards want to see someone who is capable of compassion and cares for other people’s needs. If you did something to help your school, neighborhood, community or state, do not be too shy to mention it on the resume.
  • Failing to recognize and reflect on important personal and academic experiences. Times can be rough. Difficulties come and go but what they teach you remains and changes the way you think, act. Admission people expect to see the “real” you, which means they want to see something behind good grades or positive recommendations.
  • Unlimited parental involvement into the college application process. While your parents definitely should not stay aside, the amount of their involvement should be limited. Colleges want to see you not your parents completing applications and overcoming difficulties that arise along the way.
  • Online identity being overexposed. Nowadays when social media constitutes a great part of our life, one has to be particularly careful about their online identity. Looking good on paper is not enough anymore. You have to be prepared to have your Facebook or MySpace accounts checked. Make sure it does not contain any potentially harmful information such as sarcastic comments, racist jokes, vulgar stories etc.

If you work hard and try to avoid these mistakes you will surely get enrolled. Good luck to all of you!



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