There are plenty of things that students can do to bolster their college applications, but there are also mistakes that some students make that weaken chances of acceptance. Here are three application blunders:
1. Missing deadlines.
Keeping track of the various application deadlines can require its own agenda book. With deadlines for early decision, financial aid, scholarships, test scores, etc., it’s easy to miss a deadline and suffer the consequences of a rejection letter or lost financial aid. Many students benefit from working with an adviser or educational coach who guides them through the application process and holds them accountable to deadlines.
2. Applying Early Decision When It Is Not the Right Choice.
Some students apply to schools through Early Decision because they believe it will improve their chances of admission. However, in doing so, they can severely limit their options. While applying through Early Decision is a great way to demonstrate a high level of interest in a school, this option is binding and should only be exercised when a student is certain that a particular school is her top choice.
3. Not demonstrating enough interest.
Students can weaken their chances of admission by not expressing enough interest in their top choice schools. Schools keep track of which prospective students visit their campuses, elect to participate in optional interviews, memorably express why the school is of great interest in supplemental essays, etc. Admissions representatives want to see that applicants have specific reasons for wanting to attend their school.