Applying for college is exciting and stressful. Some might be chasing their dream while others might just be overwhelmed with a wide range of colleges to pick from with no particular career path in their heads. But all of us should know a few things about college applications – keep reading to learn them.
Different Application Platforms – Different Struggles
It would be much better if all colleges would have used one and only specific application platform. It would have saved you time and you would not have to get through all the specifics of each one of them. But they don’t; every college prefers a different application platform which adds a little to the general challenge of the college application process. Like there is not enough stress already!
So, in order to get through the process, you need to know a few details about the most commonly used platform that you might use:
Common App – this is the platform that is often advised to be used. It is now accepted by more than 700 colleges and has a few pros. For example, it allows you to start work on your application early – before August 1. You can also review your entire application and one more time make sure that everything is right. It also gives you an opportunity to use their revising feature. We advise using this chance.
However, there are a few cons also: some students face difficulties when pasting their essays, a few errors might occur, and even site crashing events during high traffic.
Universal College Application – a platform that allows you to edit your application even after submission. Unfortunately, it only works with around 20 colleges.
Coalition Application – allows you to use its Locker which is a cloud storage where you can put all of your documents, art, and other files for your future application. It also works with more than 140 colleges but it is still less familiar than Common App which is more widespread. You might also dislike this platform as it doesn’t have tech support as other platforms do.
Make sure you know which platforms you need to work with when planning your application. You might want to do your research regarding your preferred colleges pretty early in your senior year.
Your Extracurriculars Do Matter
Some say that having high grades and a great essay is enough – why would a person focused on education spend their time on other things? Well, actually, extracurriculars are an important part of your application.
For example, they say a lot about you as a person. Don’t try to think of the activities that look good for college. Better focus on the ones that you are really passionate about. Otherwise, you might just miss your chance to do what you really enjoy and still not impress an admission committee – nowadays it’s not that uncommon to be involved in a bunch of various clubs or groups.
It’s good if you take a leadership role. Some colleges pay attention to whether you take responsibility when you have a chance.
Also, make sure you don’t just list your extracurriculars but take your time to list them in the order of preference and make the most out of the word limit for this chapter that you are provided with.
Start Your Essay Early
When it comes to application, it’s important to start doing your research and working on it as early as you can. Especially on your application essay – it’s generally recommended to start working on it in the summer after your junior year.
Revise your essay over and over, you might get some new great ideas over time, so it’s awesome if you have a lot of time ahead. You might want to check some essay examples on the internet – some colleges do post the best ones on their websites. You can also send us your request and we will create a perfect application essay for you.
Remember About Impression
The impression that your college application gives is crucial. Remember that there will be a person or a few who will be looking through your application and it should tell about your personality as well as your academic achievements. Here are a few things that an admission committee members will look for in your application:
- Information that describes you as an ambitious and smart person. For example, your plans for the future, career goals, your motivation and passion to continue your education, etc.
- Information that shows your interest in a particular school. No one likes to be a safe option. Take your time to do research on each learning institution you are applying for in order to tailor your applications and show your knowledge about their study programs, goals, vision, etc.
- Your own vision of yourself. It’s crucial to make yourself look good and stand out in a positive way through your application. And the way you do that says a lot about your self-esteem and your mindset.
The most important thing about the application process is to remember that you can do that. And there is nothing to worry about – you just need some time and effort. Remember to check samples, and templates or turn to someone for help, for example, college students in your family or among your friends. If you have none, you can visit college student forums to get some tips on the application for the particular colleges you picked.