The College Admissions Application: Your Chance to Make a Great First Impression
For some colleges, the decision whether to admit you is going to be easy. It could come down to your test scores being high and comparing very favorably with other incoming freshman. Or it might come down to the fact that you would be the only incoming freshman from New Mexico. Most of the time, it won’t be that easy however, so you need to make a good first impression with the colleges to which you are applying. Consider your admissions application your initial introduction and take it seriously.
Things to Keep in Mind About Admissions Applications
- Start Your Paperwork Early
- Follow Directions CAREFULLY
- If They Want an Essay, Give Them Your Best
- Clean Up Your Act
- Use Our Admissions Application Checklist to Help You Through the Process
Start Your Paperwork Early
We’ve all had Algebra and remember the bell curve, right? (see one here if you’re having trouble remembering). Now let’s apply that bell curve to the college admissions application process. On the far left end of the bell curve are those students who procrastinate and don’t get their application in until next summer. You don’t want to be one of them. Then there’s that big section in the middle. You may be on time with your application if you’re in this group but you’re part of a large group, with everyone else, from everywhere, all together. Get the picture? When it comes to admissions applications you want to be on the front end of the bell curve where admissions officers can actually pay attention to your application.
Follow Directions CAREFULLY
Read the directions then reread them and then follow them. This is not the time to decide you “think” you know what they are asking you to do. If there is a question, look it up, call them, or email them. Include all requested information and get it in on time.
If They Want an Essay, Give Them Your Best
Don’t skimp on the essay because you’re, well, just sick of essays. Put some thought into it. Everything else in an admissions application is fill in the blank; this is where you really get to show them who you are. And make sure the essay is proofread by you, by a parent, and by someone outside the family (friend, teacher, counselor, etc). This is something you do not want errors on anywhere.
Clean Up Your Act
Say goodbye to “I don’t want to grow up. I’m a Toys-R-Us kid!” Remember, this is your chance to make a great first impression with the colleges so you need to assume they are looking at everything. Make sure the email address you put on your application shows a hint of maturity. Fuzzypinkbunny@hotmail.com might be cute, but it won’t get you any points on your application. We know it sounds boring, but just go with the plain old firstname.lastname@example.org for now. Also – and we’re serious about this – if there is anything on your Facebook or MySpace pages that you wouldn’t want your mother bragging about to her church group, get it off of there now. Character is an important attribute and colleges will be looking you up in cyberspace so don’t have anything out there that you might have to spend some time explaining away.
Use Our Admissions Application Checklist to Help You Through the Process
You will find the checklist very useful as you’re trying to keep track of dates, deadlines, things you’ve done for each college, etc. Print out a copy for each college you will be applying to and keep them in a folder.
Download the Admissions Application Checklist