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The 5 Biggest Mistakes Students Make in College Applications (251 hits)

College is more important than ever. Thereís ample evidence that college graduates earn higher salaries than people who donít go beyond high school. If you plan to attend college, however, itís important to carefully consider the application process. Many colleges are quite competitive nowadays. Here are five mistakes to avoid as you send out your applications.


Starting the Application Process too Late

When you decide to apply to colleges, youíll find that the due date arrives faster than you anticipated. For best results, itís best to prepare early. If you send your application in at the last minute, youíre likely to rush through it and not give your best effort.
You also want to give sufficient time for teachers and other people who are sending in recommendations on your behalf to reply. Finally, colleges take note of when you send in applications. They tend to favor students who send them in early rather than procrastinating.


Not Applying to Enough Schools

If youíre set on attending a certain college or university, you may put all of your efforts into a single application. However, itís always a good idea to have a backup plan. If you only apply to one school, youíll be left without any options if youíre not accepted.
Many experts recommend having at least two fallback schools in case your first choice rejects you. This isnít a defeatist attitude but a realistic one. Above all else, you want to make sure that you get into a good college. The more schools you apply to, the better your chances.


Not Putting Enough Care into Essays

Colleges use a variety of criteria to choose applicants. Aside from your high school grades and scores on college prep exams, essays are extremely important. Your essays display your writing abilities and give admission readers insight into your thought process.
Make sure you put sufficient time into writing these essays. Proofread your work carefully and correct any spelling or grammatical errors. Additionally, tailor your responses to each school and say a few words about why you decided to apply. Donít use a single generic essay for every application as readers will be able to detect this.


Not Taking College Entrance Exams

College entrance exams such as ACT and SAT are extremely important, especially when it comes to applying to more competitive colleges. If you donít take these exams or if you take them without adequate preparation, you put yourself at a real disadvantage.
If you donít feel completely confident in your ability to do well on these tests, you may want to investigate some college prep services that provide resources for excelling on such exams. This can make a big difference in your application.


Failing to List Extracurricular Activities

In addition to your academic record, colleges also place a great deal of value on your extracurricular activities. This includes almost anything youíve done that shows initiative, displays leadership qualities or requires discipline.
Donít forget to mention your hobbies, summer jobs youíve held, clubs youíve joined, sports youíve participated in or volunteering youíve done. Be as specific as possible about such activities, writing down the number of hours youíve put into them and what youíve learned or accomplished. Such activities add depth to your application and you never know what might impress the person reading your application.
Applying to colleges can have a significant impact on your future. Itís a process you should take very seriously. You can think of your application as the first real stage of your college career. If you keep the above tips in mind, youíll increase your chances of getting accepted by the college of your choice.

Posted By: Anica Oaks
Tuesday, January 23rd 2018 at 1:30PM
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