There’s almost nothing more nerve wracking than getting your college applications together. They require so much time, so much work; all the while you’re worrying about whether or not you’ll even be accepted. It can really do a number on your self-esteem and your psyche. Luckily, though, there are a few ways that you can really make sure that you knock your applications out of the park. Here are 5 keys to submitting a winning college application.
- Get Your Application in Early
One of the best ways that you can make a great impression on your top school is by getting your application in as early as possible. Students who get their applications in early are much more likely to make the cut than those who get them in late, simply because they demonstrate very clearly that they are ready for the demands of college. If your application is being looked at next to someone else’s who earned similar grades and scored similarly on the SAT, yours may be chosen simply because it got to them first.
- Submit Stellar Letters of Recommendation
It doesn’t matter if you want to apply to MIT or Northeastern’s MBA online, you are going to need some amazing letters of recommendation. That’s why it’s important to start thinking about those early, up to a year before your submission deadlines. Start developing relationships with the teachers who could potentially write you a great letter and let them know well ahead of time that you would like them to write one for you. It’s best if you can give them a bullet-pointed list of all of your accomplishments and the topics you would like them to cover within the letter.
- Take an SAT Prep Course
Everyone knows that a strong college application requires strong SAT scores, but your SAT scores are not a matter of luck; they are a matter of hard work and preparation. That’s why it’s so important to enroll in an SAT prep course and make sure to take the PSAT at least once. This way you can really ensure that you will get the highest score possible and feel confident when you send out that application.
- Do Your Research
You probably won’t have time to do intensive research and visit all of the schools that you apply to, but you definitely want to be thorough with your top school. Once you know a thing or two about the school’s history and the reputation that it aims to maintain, you will know what to focus on in your essay. If you want to attend a film school that has a reputation for training blockbuster filmmakers, then you probably don’t want to talk about all the independent filmmakers that inspire you.
- Review Everything with a Fine Toothed Comb
Once you feel as though you’re done with the application, you’re going to want to go through the entire thing from beginning to end at least twice. Be sure that you’ve attached all the necessary files and that you’ve answered all the questions. Double check to make sure you’ve filled out every box. And lastly, be sure that you have someone who is very smart proofread your essay. There should be no typos or grammatical errors.