17 Point Check List Before Submitting Your College Application
Before you click “SUBMIT”, consider the following check list and take the time to review your college application very carefully. Students often overlook avoidable errors when they rush to submit college applications.
As an educational consultant, I have caught numerous mistakes in college applications that were sent to me for “final review”. The advice and check list below can help you identify and correct potentially damaging mistakes.
- Proofread Your Application Out Loud. Read the entire application slowly and out loud starting with the very first line.
- Review Your Essay(s). Make sure you answered the question(s). If it’s a multi-part question, make sure you addressed each part. If you created your essay in Word (or another word processing program), copied it to the on-line application, and then edited it to make it fit, review it extra carefully!
- Check for Inconsistencies. For example: Is your desired major offered? Is your desired major or the activity you wrote about in your essay the same as the one list listed in another part of the application? Does your activity list indicate that you spent more time on activities and work than there were waking hours?
- Check for Omissions. Did you forget to include something important or relevant? Check your resume and/or inventory of experiences, activities, honors and list of descriptive adjectives.
- Review Activity List. Read over your resume (if you have one) and make sure your list of activities is accurate and you haven’t left out anything important. Colleges are particularly interested in leadership, special talents & achievements and commitment over time.
- Honors and Awards – Again, review your resume (if you have one) and make sure your list of honors is accurate and that you haven’t left out anything important. Don’t forget to include Honor Societies such as National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society.
- Recommendations – As applicable, list the name, position, relationship and contact information for those providing recommendations. Confirm with those writing recommendations that they will be (or have been) submitted in a timely manner.
- CDs / DVDs / Portfolios – If you are providing supplementary materials, make reference to them in the appropriate part of the application, and submit them in the proper manner and on a timely basis.
- Special Connections – If you are a student athlete being recruited, or are in touch with a coach, musical or art director, professor or other person of potential influence, keep that person posted on the progress of your application. And, when appropriate, reference him or her in your application.
- Transcript – Order your school transcript. Provide a stamped and properly addressed envelope, as necessary.
- Self Reported Test Scores & Dates – When applicable, report your SAT and ACT scores, and related test administration dates. Comply with the specific college and university reporting requirements.
- Mailing Address – Confirm the mailing address for recommendations, transcripts and supplemental materials. Many colleges and universities have a separate mailing address to their undergraduate admissions office.
- Standardized Test Scores – Make arrangements to send SAT and/or ACT test scores directly from CollegeBoard.com and ACT.org. Confirm that colleges will receive your test scores according to their application requirements.
- State Residency Requirement Form – Many state colleges and universities require a residency form for in-state candidates who wish to pay in-state tuition.
- Special Situations – Many applications ask if you have been dismissed from school, suspended, placed on probation or incurred serious disciplinary action. If so, answer the question honestly and look for an opportunity to explain your situation.
- Additional Information – Many applications allow an optional additional essay for candidates who think that additional information will provide a more comprehensive impression. Consider this option (when available) when there is something relevant to add.
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- Read Directions and Sign Your Name – Many applications require some type of electronic signature. Make sure you read and follow all directions.
Focus Nathan, Focus…
Princeton Review’s Best 373 Colleges for 2011
The Princeton Review releases its annual college guidebook, “The Best 373 Colleges: 2011 Edition” (Random House / Princeton Review, $22.99). The book will go on sale tomorrow.
Some of the ranking factors are:
· Best Career Services – Northeastern University (MA)
· Best Classroom Experience – Mount Holyoke College (MA)
· Most Accessible Profs – U.S. Air Force Academy (CO)
· Most Conservative Students – Texas A&M University
· Most Liberal Students – Hampshire College (MA)
· Most Politically Active Students – American University (DC)
· Least Religious Students – Sarah Lawrence College (NY)
· Happiest Students – Brown University (RI)
· Lots of Race/Class Interaction– University of Miami (FL)
· LGBT-Friendly – Emerson College (MA)
· Top Party Schools –University of Georgia
· Top Stone-Cold Sober Schools – Brigham Young University (UT)
· Everyone Plays Intramural Sports – University of Notre Dame (IN)
· Best Athletic Facilities – University of Maryland – College Park
· Best Town-Gown Relations – Clemson University (SC)
While parties are definitely a part of the University life, it’s rather dumb to pick for example the University of Georgia, just because it is allegedly the school with the best parties. If you are more interested in drinking, you could pick Providence for the most hard liquor on campus or Ohio University for the most beer on campus. This list looks to me like a lame attempt to make some third class schools look more interesting in order to lure in students.
At least I could not easily find the University of California, Los Angeles or Ivy League schools like Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University. At least one of the Ivy League schools, Brown University, is on the list.