Top 3 Application Errors

1.     Failing to research schools adequately.  Just because you’ve hear it is “a good school” doesn’t mean it is the right place for everyone.  I’ve known students who arrived on campus to find the university doesn’t offer their desired major or doesn’t have a good campus life.  Don’t just apply based on what you’ve heard about a school or where your friends are applying!  Colleges, like companies, are not all the same.  The have unique traditions, expectations, and cultures. Students will be more successful and productive in a comfortable, but challenging environment.  However, each student has a different view of what that ideal environment should be.  Some will thrive in a high-pressure, ultra-competitive environment while others will excel in a more laid-back culture that provides lots of opportunity for creativity and independence.  You want a college that is a good “fit” for you and colleges want to admit students who “fit”.  Failing to research all aspects of a school before applying can be a huge mistake. 2.     Missing deadlines, forgetting essential items, or failing to confirm receipt of all application elements. Would you hire the person who arrived 30 minutes late to the interview?  No.  Colleges are forced to send rejection letters to highly qualified students each year because those students failed to submit a completed application on-time.  Simply submitting the student’s portion of an application is not enough, applicants should confirm receipt of transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, and other supplemental information. One senior who was admitted to an Ivy League school came to me frustrated because it was the only university that hadn’t offered him financial aid. The university told me why: He had never submitted any of the required paperwork.  Plan ahead and confirm everything. 3.     Making sloppy errors. Misunderstood questions, poorly written essays, and typos all will undermine your application. All of these errors are preventable and most are a direct result of procrastination. I’ve seen students hurriedly complete applications hours before the deadline.  I’ve also known plenty of students who have planned, revised, and proof read only to get impatient and send an application with errors because they wanted to “be done with it.”  Take time to do it right.  The old cliché applies – you only have one chance to make a good first impression.]]>

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