The college application process has always been competitive, but with more students seeking higher education, the competition is stiffer than ever. However, the following five strategies can help prospective college students ensure that their applications make their way to the top of the heap – and secure that coveted admission letter.
Write a Unique Essay
Students needn’t be great writers to craft outstanding college admission essays. Essays should be grammatically correct and spelled correctly, of course, but it isn’t necessary to create great literature. The best essays emphasize unique aspects about the student, such as unusual hobbies or a deep commitment to a particular cause.
Boost Your Online Presence
Students should clean up any inappropriate content before beginning the application process. Barring that, they should adjust their privacy settings to keep as much of their profiles locked down as possible. However, college admissions officers absolutely consider prospective students’ online presence when making their decisions. Therefore, positive online content can significantly enhance students’ chances of admission.
Take an Active Role in the Admissions Process
Prospective students, not mom and dad, should serve as the driving force for the application process. College admissions officers understand that parents are often enthusiastic about their children’s’ college choices, and won’t hold that against applicants. However, it reflects poorly if the only communications come from a student’s parents rather than directly from the student. Likewise, so-called “ghost” applications – applications that only include bare bones details are often relegated to the circular file.
Submit Supplemental Materials
Submitting video files, newspaper clippings, photographs of artwork – it’s all legitimate as a supplement to a college application. Supplemental materials should directly relate to the program to which prospective students are applying, and should reflect the student’s best work. However, students should check with college admissions offices before submitting supplemental materials. Many colleges welcome them, but some discard materials other than college applications unread. In the latter instance, submitting supplemental materials is nothing more than a waste of an applicant’s time.
Consider Early Admission
Students who are convinced that they want to attend a particular school should consider early admission. Many schools fill a significant portion of their incoming classes through the early admission process, leaving fewer slots for regular admission students. However, early admission slots are often awarded to students with the strongest portfolios – early admission is not a realistic prospect for marginal applicants.