Your college admission essay can sometimes feel like a big white whale that is impossible to reel in. For this reason, many college students let their essay become a burden and wind up putting it off or not doing as great a job on it as they could have if they focused earlier.
However, this is exactly why you want to narrow in on your top choices for a school and you apply to only the cream of the crop. Keeping your aim narrow and focused will not only reduce the burden, it will also allow you the opportunity to put your all into the applications you do need to send in.
There are a number of things you want to keep in mind that could improve your application and increase your chances of getting accepted. Here are five ways to strengthen your college admissions application.
1. Address Any Shortcomings in Your High School Performance
Many high school students that apply to college have a less than perfect score on their SATS or their grade point average may be just that: average. This is why you want to address, not ignore, your shortcomings and explain how you can change and improve when you arrive at college.
2. Tailor Your Application According to the College
There is a good chance that you will be applying to multiple colleges, each with their own set of application guidelines and areas of strength. For instance, UAB online will have a different program than University of Texas, and so on. This is why you want to make sure to keep this in mind when you apply. The last thing you want is to send out a blanket application, because it will seem generic. Ideally, you want to address the admissions officers at a specific college.
3. Ask for Proof that the Application was Received
After you send in an application, you could wait and hope that your application was not lost in the mail, or you could get proactive and get confirmation that it was received. Getting this confirmation will achieve two important objectives. For one thing, you won’t have to worry about a lost application and the second thing is that you can connect personally with the admissions department.
4. Don’t Boast, but Share Your Accomplishments
Just like you had some shortcomings in high school, there is also a good chance that you had some accomplishments and achievements. In your college application, you want to talk about some of these achievements because they will help set you apart from the crowd. Of course, you don’t want to be overly boastful, but you do want to very modestly note some of the highlights from the list of achievements.
5. Start Your Application Early
On top of everything, you want to be sure to start early on your application. The truth of the matter is that the earlier you send it in, the sooner it will be reviewed. Ideally you want the admissions officers to review your application before most of the spots for the freshman class are already taken. Moreover, you want to give yourself enough time to really complete the application. If you wait until the last minute, your stress levels will be through the roof.