Watch Out For These College Application Mistakes Before You Hit “Submit”
College application deadlines are just days away, so now is the time for students to put the finishing touches on their apps, and double check for any mistakes.
There are a number of mistakes that students make every year on their college applications. Some are not a big deal – students make them all the time and they have no impact on whether or not a student gets accepted or rejected. Others, however, can pose some problems or make it harder for an admissions officer to advocate for students when deciding whom to admit.
Before submitting your college applications, it’s wise to double check your essays for any spelling or grammar errors, make sure all your information is correct, and that you’ve included the correct essays within the application. But there are other college application mistakes to avoid. Here are a few.
Not Explaining Acronyms
This happens a lot when students are filling out their activity list or discussing a club or extracurricular in an essay. Don’t assume that admissions officers know acronyms for awards, clubs, or other organizations. If you include an acronym, like NYCSEF, make sure you explain that it stands for New York City Science and Engineering Fair. Admission officers don’t have a lot of time to review applications the first time around, and if they have to spend time Googling or finding context clues to figure out what an acronym means, that takes away time they could be spending on other aspects of your application.
Putting Extra Essays in “Additional Information” Section
The additional information section on the Common Application is meant to give students a space to provide additional context for things like a grade dip, leave of absence, or other information that will help admissions officers better understand who you are as a student. It is NOT a place to put a second personal statement or an extension of the activity list or other section. If you have included extra college application essays just to fill up the additional information section, consider taking it out. Don’t just fill it out to fill it out if the information your providing isn’t giving any additional context. This will only give application readers more work, and some colleges actually request that students NOT provide any additional materials outside of what is requested.
Selecting a Major/College Because It’s “Easy” to Get In
It’s a “strategy” that many students think will put them at an advantage. If a student wants to go to a highly-selective college, they’ll choose an major that’s “easy” to get in, with the intention of possibly switching majors at a later date. For them it’s about the name brand – not the fit. This is a mistake that a lot of students make, and it can create more problems than solutions. Don’t apply to a college because of the name or a ranking on a list. Apply because it’s the best fit for you and your goals. Also, applying to a major that doesn’t align with your interest will put you at a disadvantage, as colleges are looking to admit specialists. If you’re an engineering student applying to an English program just to get in to a certain college because English is “less competitive” than engineering, you likely still won’t be admitted because you’ve demonstrated an interest in engineering, and they won’t admit an English student they know will just transfer later.
For more last minute college application tips before the regular decision deadlines, check out these articles.
- Last Minute Tips for Regular Decision Applications
- Last Minute Tips for Your College Admissions Essays
- Last-Minute College Application Resources
- Last Minute College Application Mistakes Students Frequently Make
Here are some additional college application tips from our team of expert counselors. If you need some additional help finishing your applications before the deadline, contact us today for information on our short-term programs for seniors.