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Last-Minute College Application Advice from Former Admissions Officers

Wed, Dec 26, 2018 @ 10:00 AM

Last Minute College Application Advice from Former Admissions OfficersHere are Some Top Tips from Our Team of Expert Counselors

Regular application deadlines are just days away! Are you ready to hit “submit” on your final few college applications?

With the holidays and looming college application deadlines, this can often be a busy and stressful time for high school seniors who still have a few apps to complete. It’s important to stay calm and avoid common mistakes that can make it harder to gain admission to your top-choice schools. If you’re still working on your college applications, here’s some last minute college application advice from our team of former college admissions officers.

Proofread, proofread, proofread!
While a simple typo won’t derail your college chances, you don’t want to submit a Harvard supplement with “Yale” in one of the essays. Proofread your essays and other sections for typos, misspellings, or names that spellcheck wouldn't catch. This can also help you make some final tweaks to the wording of your essay if something doesn’t quite make sense or is grammatically incorrect. Don’t rush through your proofreading. Take your time and maybe ask for a second pair of eyes to check it out, like your parents or an older sibling.

Don’t Wait Until Midnight to Submit
Technical difficulties always seem to happen at the worst times, and college applications are no different. If you’re putting the finishing touch on your Regular Decision applications, don’t wait until the zero hour to actually submit, just in case there are some technical issues that prevent your application from going through. While many schools will accommodate students who experience difficulties on the application platform, it can cause unnecessary stress. Avoid application anxiety by planning to submit your application a few days before the deadline.

Tailor Your Essays
If your Regular Decision or ED II schools require a lot of supplements, it may be tempting to just copy and paste a few of the same essays into different applications. It’s important to remember that you should treat every school to which you are applying as your first choice, so take some time to tailor your essays as much as possible. While it’s okay to use the same theme or topic for similar prompts, avoid a straight copy/paste. Instead, use the same ideas to create a tailored essay based on the school and your research. It may take a little longer but if you plan out the rest of your application timeline properly you can finish everything with time to spare.

Review Your Activity List
Double check your activities section in your Common Application to ensure that you’ve included all relevant experiences and you’ve properly highlighted your role, experience, and impact in those activities. Admissions officers are looking for context and other information in your activity list, so take some time to refine any points that may not be as robust as the others and take off any one-off activities that you don’t have any sustained involvement in. Admissions officers can tell when students are trying to pad their resume. Instead, focus on highlighting the quality of your activities, not the quantity.

The college application season is almost over for high school seniors! If you need some additional help with your last Regular Decision or ED II applications, contact us today for more information on our Application Review, Application Boot Camp, and Deferral services.

IvyWise

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