Make Your Application Essay Personal And Authentic
The key to writing a good college essay is being specific, reflective, and transparent about your experiences and what events have shaped you into the unique person you are. Don’t worry about what you think colleges might want to hear, but rather, think about the story you want them to hear. College essays are a space for admissions officers to learn things about you that your GPA, resume, and test scores cant tell them. Theres a place for you to rattle off all the things youve achievedyour resume. Make sure your college essays are covering new ground. Maybe youre passionate about social justice, a dedicated athlete, a caring sibling, a hard worker at your part-time job, or have beliefs or projects youre passionate about. Any and all things like these are characteristics and interests that make you unique, and colleges love hearing about them!
Submitting Polished And Informative Application Materials Can Help You Attend The College Of Your Choice
Setting yourself apart from other students during college application season is crucial to your success. Colleges and universities continue to see an increase in the number of applicants each year. While admission trends are encouraging, acceptance rates remain competitive and selective. Applicants need solid materials to rise to the top and stand out from others.
This guide for applicants and prospective students offers actionable advice on how to approach the college application process. Preparation for that process should begin early during your freshman year, ideally and continue throughout high school. This page explores ways to give yourself an edge in the admissions process.
Show You Have Researched The College
Nothing irritates application readers more than an applicant who uses the wrong college name or incorrect college facts in his application. Or who writes essays and short answers so general they have no idea why he wants to attend. So mention the specific features of the college that appeal to you in your essays and short answers. For example, you could mention the college’s program in your major or a certain professor you want to work with. Get your facts straight and don’t leave the impression that you wrote a cookie-cutter application that could apply to any college.
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Make Your College Applications Stand Out
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Admission staff read hundreds of applications every year. Here’s how to help them remember yours.
All college applications have one thing in common at firstthey’re blank. So how do you turn an empty form into a testimony to your personality, achievements, and enthusiasm?
Take The Application Instructions Seriously
Allow plenty of time to complete your application, so you have time to review and double-check it. Stay within the maximum word counts for your essay and short answers. Don’t include extra materials unless the college specifically invites you to do so. And don’t include any “gimmicks,” such as food. Admission departments only find them irritating.
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Finding Unique Or Uncommon After
This doesnt merely mean becoming the captain of the basketball team or the president of the honors society, but it does mean putting your best effort into the meaningful after-school activities that you pursue. Some of the most impressive extracurricular accomplishments are very creative and are not associated with the students high school. The more unique or uncommon an activity, the easier it becomes for a student to stand out.
If you can find a unique or uncommon activity that youre passionate about, like starting a local nonprofit to serve your community or building a business around your talent or passion, admissions officers will surely be impressed. With any extracurricular involvement, be sure to note the accomplishments, transformations, personal growth, or improvements you experienced along the way.
Keep in mind that colleges are looking for a wide variety of impressive characteristics from candidates theres no shame in pointing them out if you feel you demonstrated or developed some of those traits throughout your extracurricular involvement.
Remember That Extracurriculars Matter
Grades are important – but they aren’t everything. This is especially true when applying to colleges. Yes, a college wants to see that you are capable of handling multiple classes at once efficiently and can pass them with good grades. But they’re also interested in what you do outside of the classroom, too. Your college application is a great time to talk about all of your interests and extracurricular activities you participated in throughout high school. This shows off your personality, hobbies, and interests on a much deeper level than your grades or SAT scores ever could. In fact, in response to COVID, many colleges across the country have become test-optional, meaning they no longer take SAT/ACT scores into consideration when reviewing a student’s application. This means that right now, it’s more important than ever to show off your other skills, interests, and assets on your applications. Here are some extracurriculars you can include:
If you need help working on your college applications or essays, text #Hello to 33-55-77! Our college advisors are here to help and answer all of your questions.
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Get Involved In The Community
Schools also love to see community involvement. When its time to start putting together that resume during the college application season, one way to make a strong impression is by volunteering. Why not help build a house with Habitat for Humanity or volunteer at the local food shelter?
Maybe the best part of community involvement is that its contagious. Studies show that community service during high school, even when its mandatory, heightens the likelihood of people volunteering later in life. With community service, students look great, their college application is more competitive, and hopefully, they feel great because theyre helping others. Everybody wins!
Here We List The Top 5 Ways To Make Your College Application Stand Out:
Excellent Grades in Challenging Courses. Its great to have a strong GPA, but colleges also factor in a strong curriculum and how the student challenged his/herself in more advanced courses.
High Test Scores. Its true that nowadays there are test-optional alternatives for college applications, but if you do achieve high SAT/ACT scores, its best to show them off.
Thoughtful, Well-Written, and Captivating Essays. This is one factor that some students often dont take into account, but it can help a college applicant stand out in a big way. Before you submit that application, make sure youve crafted a thoughtful , well-written and captivating essay. If you need FREE COLLEGE ESSAY HELP, apply to the 4S Education Foundation program today!
Extracurricular Activities. Colleges want to know what you do in your spare time. Volunteering, leadership roles, relevant job experience and accomplishments related to your planned field of study are just some of the factors they consider.
Letters of Recommendation. Strong letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors who know you in and outside of the classroom will also help your college application shine because they offer perspectives into your character.
Need more help in making your college application stand out? Apply to the 4S Education Foundation program and get personalized guidance from the college application process through your college career!
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Additional Information And Materials
When your student takes a birds-eye-view of their application, they should see a comprehensive and multi-dimensional document that gives admissions officers an understanding of the different aspects of who they are as a student and person. If anything important about them is missing or does not fit in the available sections of the application, they can use the Additional Information section to share this information. Examples are moves or school changes, illnesses or other obstacles overcome, and additional details about their life that the admissions committee should know. This is also an area where your student can provide links to videos, projects, art, and other unique things that they have created as part of their co- and extracurricular activities. Please note that materials such as required art portfolios or musical recordings are typically submitted through the websites of particular colleges and universities that require them for niche programs. Your child will be prepared to submit these extra required materials if they have done in-depth research on the admissions webpages of each college on their list.
Advanced Training Through Summer Camps
Every summer there are camps that train students on every academic subject, ranging from political debate to nanorobotics. Summer camps are more abundant than internships, so these are great alternatives. However, summer camps can have a hefty price tag.
These camps are a way for high school students to show their passion for knowledge outside of the classroom. Camps often teach things that high school classes do not have the time or resources to teach. The skills obtained from summer camps can boost a students confidence in a certain career path and provide an edge in college admissions.
Summer camps also provide the skills necessary for high school students to do independent projects throughout the school year, culminating in a unique accomplishment that may take several years to achieve.
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Big Question With Few Answers
we all know the different between resume and accomplishment. but someties, stand out on applicant pool is not all about accomplishment becuase such term is relatively speaking and subject to the terms and conditions of the applicant.the expectation from the applicant is the key, how she or he stands out on the applicant pool is very much the same as to what degree of expectations has satisfied the college admissions.
Independent Educational ConsultantThe College Connection
Think Carefully About Why This School Is A Fit For You Before Applying It Will Show In Your Application
So once we have determined that youre a strong academic candidate for your school, your application will be read. Thanks to applicants with low credentials, that robust pool of 2,500 files per reader is now down to 2,000. My region had room for about 250 admits. This means that my partner and I had to findand fight for250 students from that pile of 2,000 qualified applicants. They were all smart, and they all would probably be successful at our institution. For all intents and purposes, the college application of these students were all academically substantially the same. We werent going to quibble over who had the extra AP class or the difference between a 760 and 770 on the math section of the SAT. At this point, an application needed something more.
What admissions readers notice when they are reading thousands of applications is the student who has put some thought and time into their specific application to that specific school. Beyond academic qualifications, admissions readers look for the college application of a student who has thought about the types of schools where he or she can make the most of the next four years.
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Unique Ways To Stand Out On Your College Applications
No one wants to be just another piece of paper in the college admission process. Here are a few ways to make your application stand out from the crowd.
No one wants to be just another piece of paper when it comes to the college application processbut unless you’re partaking in college interviews, it’s easy to succumb to that. There are plenty of articles on how to make your college essay stand out with original language and powerful stories, but how do you make the rest of your application pop too? After all, if writing isnt your strongest asset, its daunting to have such high stakes resting on the admission essay. So if you’re not a writer, what other things can you highlight to show your worth in paper and ink? The good news is there are plenty of ways to make your college applications stand out other than writing a Pulitzer Prizeworthy essay. Here are just a few.
Jump Right Into Your Story In Your Essays And Short Answers
Many college application readers say that a great opening line and a small, “slice of life” story capture their attention and make the applicant memorable. So write about how specific moments in your life affected you. For example, a friendship with an elderly neighbor might have taught you about the challenges people face as they age, inspired your ability to adapt to limitations, or helped you discover a passion for working with seniors.
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Read Books About Your Chosen Subject
In addition to researching the major, read literature on your chosen subjects. Many university application officers want to see that a candidate is fully engaged in their subject. The more knowledge you have of it, the more likely you will stand out from the crowd. Reference these books naturally within your application to show your desire to learn and engage with the subject area. This will also help you come across as a more confident candidate.
Choose A Standardized Test
If you already know what university youd like to go to, make sure you look into their preferred standardized test. Although many colleges accept both, there are still some that have a preference for one or the other.
Sometimes, this can also vary based on the degree program youre looking to get into, so its always a good idea to take the time to do a little bit of research before taking a standardized test.
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Make Sure You Like What You Do
Devoting your own energy and time to activities that are interesting and enjoyable to you is a way to demonstrate some of your most favorable qualities to admissions representatives. You may already have developed some special interests even before attending high school. Sports, hobbies, art, music, dance, horseback riding, and activities related to your church or community are all included when it comes to extracurricular activities.
The key here is that these pursuits are things you are genuinely fond of. Dont participate in something you will dread simply because you think you must. Find out what makes you happy and do that. Even something as unglamorous or common-place as knitting, taking long walks, or writing poetry counts.
With extracurricular activities, your own unique style is important. It is of little value to the campus as a whole to enroll only students interested in snowboarding. Colleges look for variety in the background and interests of prospective students, and they are not looking for a specific extracurricular activity. They are more concerned about who you are and what is important to you.
Showing commitment to your personal enrichment activities is more important than what they entail. Your involvement in them will be examined. Focusing on just one or two and even taking some leadership roles within these clubs or classes looks excellent on your resume.
Tell The Story Of Who You Are
Your life is truly a book with many chapters. Although it is only the beginning of your story, the start of any book can be compelling if the writer is creative enough. Whether good or bad, all of your experiences up to this point have shaped your perspective on everything from relationships to employment. In the admissions department, officers are interested in who you are and what makes you tick. They want to see how you have evolved as a person during high school. It interests them to see how you have handled any challenges that arose. You can reveal a lot about yourself by telling the story of who you are.
As you go through your application, take any opportunity to use additional space for writing. If you have lean sections, further explanations may help complete the picture and work in your favor.
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Mention How You’ve Demonstrated Your Interest
Application readers will gauge how truly interested you are in their college. So mention any visits you have made to the campus and conversations you have had with college representatives, professors, and student leaders. Show that you’ve researched the college’s website in depth by mentioning information you have to dig for, such as the college’s mission statement or certain classes in your major.
Convey Sincere Genuine Interest
Admissions officers have a keen eye for spotting disingenuous aspects of an application and can tell when someone just says things to look better. Taking the time and energy to discover the reasons why you want to apply to a certain school is extremely important. If you find that sincere reasons come right out, then that is a sign that the school could fit you well, and you should articulate these reasons throughout your application.
However, if you are hard-pressed to find unselfish reasons and instead can only think of things such as it is a very prestigious school or attending here will increase my odds of future success, then you should take some more time to explore how this school could fit your personality, goals, and interests. If after research you cannot find something, it may be wise to not apply there altogether. Ultimately, it is better to attend a school for the right reasons rather than for only prestige.
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Check Your Social Media
Your social media presence can have more impact on your applications than you think. College admissions officers often browse applicants’ social media accounts and use their findings to inform decisions. Inside Higher Ed recently reported that 36% of admissions officers check prospective students’ social media profiles up 25% since 2019. In some cases, high-profile schools have even rescinded admissions offers based on social media content.
Social media platforms are, essentially, public interfacing tools. They can allow you to put your best foot forward or to make public blunders. Maintaining a professional and appropriate social media presence can help your applications along.