Timothy Parros

Do you know how to stand out on a college application when there are thousands of other kids competing for the same spots? Do you know what can actually hurt your chances of admission the most?

As we told you last year it is not surprising that mistakes anywhere on your college applications can hurt your chances of getting into the college of your dreams. It all culminates at the beginning of senior year: After years of getting good grades, good test scores, and participating great outside activities, now is your chance to shine. Have you started your applications yet? How’s that Common Application essay coming along? Are you using the right strategies to maximize your chances?

In college and later in life, you will also experience difficulties; universities are interested in learning about how you cope with tough times. However, we have heard stories of students not getting into certain colleges because they don’t articulate their life story in a way that highlights a transformative experience. Without that, admission staff see these essays as a mere “sob story,” and are less likely to extend an offer to attend their college. We feel that it is our job as college planners to not let this happen to you.

Here are our top 2 Do’s:

Be sincere and do your research on the programs the college has. You should know that Admissions officers know how to spot an application when a student is just saying things to make them look good. You must take the time to discover why you are applying and what the school has to offer. After your research you will know how to articulate why the college is a good fit and the reasons will come out as sincere in your application.

Be clear about what you will be bringing to their campus. Make sure that your application weaves different aspects of your personality throughout. This will give the admissions team the opportunity to easily see how you will fit into their campus. It is important to use a relevant central theme that will allow your application to stand out.

Top 2 Don’ts:

Use humor in a negative way. Many students want to use some mild humor when writing their essays, this is fine as long as you stay away from anything that will not add positively to your admissions profile. Please stay away from including anything crude, racist, or inappropriate in any way, this could impact your application in a negative way.

Timing is everything. Seniors are procrastinators especially since school has started and they are busy getting back into the swing of things. It is important to get your application in as soon as possible, we like our students to be finished by the end of September with all their applications. This is also true of completing the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA), money is awarded on a first come basis and if you wait you could miss out.

This is a very short list and there are many more things to consider, that is why we are here to help in the college admission process. Our College Application Program will help your student navigate the complex college admissions process, from creating a school list to producing stand-out college application essays. Please feel free to contact us for a review of your current college situation.

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