In a few months, a new crop of high school seniors will fill out their college applications. Unfortunately, many of them will make mistakes that might prevent them from being accepted to their school of choice. The good news, all of those mistakes are preventable.
If your child is gearing up for the college application process, you should take the time to educate yourselves on how NOT to fill out a college application. Below are nine missteps your student should avoid. (Parents may want to pay particular attention to #8.)
- Missing the Deadline: Be sure you know when each application is due, to avoid having to rush to make a deadline. Colleges don't want to hear excuses, so submit your applications with time to spare.
- Poor Spelling or Grammar: By the time your student is a senior in high school, his or her work should be error-free. Make sure your child proofs all the applications at least twice, to catch all those pesky typos.
- Being Too Informal: Your student is applying to college, not chatting it up with friends. His tone should be respectful and formal.
- Offering Too Much or Too Little Information: Application questions should be thoroughly answered, but avoid revealing the unnecessary.
- Bad Essays: Students can easily trip up on the essay. Don't write about some tragic incident that forever haunts you. Answer the question, and let the admissions officer know what makes you tick. Be positive, and avoid critical essays or essays that might make an admissions officer question your student's maturity, or ethics.
- Being Bored or Arrogant: You want your student to put his best foot forward, but be sure to avoid an arrogant or bored tone.
- Falsifying Information: Be honest on the application. Enough said.
- Having Overly Involved Parents: Helicopter parents may mean well, but colleges can tell when they've taken over the application process. Parents should offer up advice and suggestions, but allow their student to take charge.
- Sending in the Wrong Application: Seems so simple, but every year colleges receive applications that were meant for other schools. Be sure you send the right application to the proper school.
Ian Welham is an expert at helping students find the best-fit college and helping their parents pay for it. For more information, visit completecollegeplanningsolutions.com.