When students apply for college, they have several expectations. The same goes for the admissions officers. It’s important to keep in mind that they check multiple applications. Standing out from the competition can be a real challenge but it’s not as difficult as everyone assumes.
Together, we’ll go through six ways of making a college application stand out from the crowd. We’ll explore the main things that lead to a successful college admission and you’ll get to decide which steps need to be worked on. Get a pen and a paper because we’re about to uncover some great tips!
- Applying Early
It might make sense that in order to stand out, students should consider applying earlier than generally expected. That way, they can easily get ahead of their peers. It’s also important to mention that early decision applicants have higher chances of being admitted into their dream college.
This also showcases how serious the students are about their future and that they’ve made a clear decision about their higher education. We highly encourage those who are interested in applying early decision to do their research and make sure that they are strong candidates. Otherwise, being rejected can keep students from applying elsewhere for a whole year.
- Preparing the Application Thoughtfully
A truly polished application can take years to prepare. That’s why we are adamant about getting started early on. That way, applicants have more time on their hands to double-check their essays, take on extracurriculars, achieve leadership experience and have the time to collect letters of recommendation.
Thoughtfulness will go a long way when preparing an application that is meant to stand out. That’s because the one that is rushed and lacks important information can be easily dismissed. This is especially relevant to first-generation college students who don’t have someone in their families to guide them appropriately.
High school counseling can help, but most of the time it’s not enough to ensure college success. First-generation students must be extra thoughtful and pay attention to the fine details. That is what separates those who are admitted from those who aren’t.
- Exuding Confidence & Authenticity
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When young people are authentic, they can easily get ahead of their competitors. Their fresh outlook on the world, as well as their excitement, can go a long way. This is the energy they should channel when writing their college essays. The topics range from a well-known activity they enjoy to a personal life story that showcases the road they want to pursue.
When applicants are not afraid to display their confidence and authenticity, they can achieve their wildest dreams. Essays are a crucial part of any college application, so it’s important to pay attention to it and make sure that it truly reflects one’s innermost ambitions in life. There is no need to dull one’s shine because that is what makes an admissions officer give the green light.
- Double-Checking the Social Media
This might come as a surprise. Thirty-six percent of admissions officers check applicants’ social media profiles. One might wonder what this means and whether it’s an important detail or not. Checking social media helps the officers make an informed decision based on the applicant’s digital presence. After all, colleges want to make sure that they associate themselves with proper individuals.
While this might easily cause discrimination, it’s important to curate one’s social media presence and not censor it. What this means is that a student shouldn’t aim for a public persona that doesn’t resonate with who they are, but they should be wary of how they might be perceived by those in charge of their future.
- Ruling Out Any Possible Mistakes
Typos and grammatical errors can ruin the strongest of college applications. That is because an eye for detail showcases valuable attributes that colleges look for in their aspiring students. Proofreading should become the main habit of all candidates. This ensures that everything is neat and ready to make a great first impression.
Double-checking the name of the college is also important. As little as these details may seem, they can surely make a clear difference. The ideas can be grand but the execution matters just as much, if not more. Rule out all possible mistakes once and for all!
- Paying Attention to Standardized Tests
Most colleges nowadays don’t require SATs or ACTs anymore to get admitted. However, students should consider whether their desired career, or college might require a master’s degree.
If so, standardized tests should be looked into. Candidates should still ask their colleges of choice whether SATs and ACTs are a requirement. That way, their applications won’t lack any missing pieces. Better safe than sorry!
College applications can stand out from the rest in a good or bad way. When looking to stand out positively, students should consider applying earlier and taking their time to prepare their applications. Also, when it comes to the essay, authenticity should be a no-brainer. Keeping a close eye on one’s social media and ruling out any possible mistakes is just as important. Lastly, standardized tests shouldn’t be ignored.
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