Here are 9 Ways to Make Your College Applications Stand Out:
1. Start early: Students should make a 4-year plan starting from Grade 9. Freshmen should take challenging courses related to the program they plan to take in the college. If they are not clear about what program they will take in college they should take the subjects that interest them based on their abilities. Students should start doing additional activities that demonstrate leadership skills.
2. Be consistent: Students who are consistently doing few activities over years are preferred by colleges compared to students who keep changing their activities.
3. Be involved: Letters of recommendation required by colleges are written by guidance counselors or teachers. Students should build a relationship with them so that they can write about student character, work ethic, progress, and contributions.
4. Create a short-list: Students should study various college websites keeping in mind what programs interest them and what they are good at. They should come up with reasons for applying to a college. Get this short-list checked by their guidance counselor.
5. Online presence: Admission officers are referring to Facebook, twitter and student websites. Students should enhance the strength of their application by listing their web address that showcases their activities and achievements. It is important to delete any inappropriate content on social media.
6. Show interest: Showing interest in a college helps a student stand out. Visiting campus is the best way to show interest in a college. Meet admissions officers, ask well-researched questions to make a positive impression and stay connected. Sign up on the college Facebook page. Many colleges track if a student has made contact with the college.
7. Research well: Interviewers seek students who have researched the college’s academic and cultural environment. Students should actively engage in conversation elaborating on who they are so that interviewer can learn more about the student.
8. Proofread: Students should write essays in their own voice and about what matters to them. They should respond to optional essays and include any supplemental material asked for. Extra effort and information can make a difference in student admission. Take feedback from at least two people. Proofread!
9. Take charge: Instead of a parent doing it for them, students should create their college list, arrange visits & interviews, write essays, contact admissions office with questions and follow deadlines.