7 Critical Application Mistakes Aspiring Students Need to Avoid

7 Critical Application Mistakes Aspiring Students Need to Avoid

December 26th, 2016

By Sophia Anderson

College application mistakes can hurt your admission chances, which is why applying for college is a very frustrating time in every student’s life. However, it’s essential you don’t sabotage all of your prior hard work and instead focus on crafting a college application that’s going to be a representation of your best assets and your best self.


  1. Lack of Leadership

As a student, you must take control and leadership during the entire process. Take charge and don’t let your parents, friends, relatives or anyone else take the lead for you. It’s time to show that you have leadership qualities and that you’re independent. Every college likes to see a young person that’s enthusiastic, successful, has ambition and the strength to act on it on their own.


  1. Negative Perception

If you start off with a negative state-of-mind, and don’t feel confident in your academic success thus far, then nobody will feel enthusiastic about admitting you to your desired college. Be proud of your achievements and your plans for the future, and show off your confidence.


  1. Last-Minute Actions

Invest enough time and put in the effort required to truly ace your college application. Don’t write your essay at the last minute and run around asking for recommendations one day before the deadline.

“Procrastination has accelerated over the past decade as the electronic age has empowered applicants to leave everything to the last minute. Students don’t allow for time zone differences, Internet service outages, server crashes because of the sheer volume of last minute applications, or the failure of their own computer at the last and critical moment,” according to Peter Brass, a director of student services and university adviser.


  1. Incorrect Application

Suffice to say, making mistakes while filling out your college application can be even more detrimental than any of the mistakes mentioned above. Avoid making errors such as leaving blank lines, misspelling the name of your college, writing an inadequate email address, or putting the signature in the wrong place. We can’t stress enough the importance of triple checking your spelling and grammar overall if necessary.


  1. Not Writing the Best Essay Possible

Your application essay is the perfect chance to show off your skills, and demonstrate who you are and what you can do. Answer the prompt, don’t forget to include your thesis statement and be authentic. Don’t copy others, and stick to the guidelines provided. Make sure to respect the word count, and never forget to edit and proofread several times. Check for plagiarism and grammar mistakes, and keep going back to the essay until it’s perfect.

Emily Waldman, an essay expert and grammar tutor from Essays on Time, states, “During this stressful time, many students make mistakes that could cost them the college of their dreams. While it’s understandable that there is a certain amount of pressure building up as expectations rise, it’s inevitable to focus on avoiding the errors that are easy to detect in essays. Students need to do great research, invest time and effort to make their writing truly flawless and unique.”


  1. Under- or Over- Demonstration

Extracurricular activities are just as important as your grades. But try to find the right balance in the demonstration of these activities, without undermining your own achievements or going over the top, adding more details than necessary.


  1. Being a Reputable Applicant in Social Networks

Social media is also important, so try to track down your potential college on their social pages. Show your interest in what they do, like them and follow their activities, but in moderation. If you’re engaging in conversation or leaving comments, make sure they are professional and don’t get into controversial arguments.

Now that you’re equipped with the right knowledge about the most common mistakes you should avoid, print out this list and stick to it when you venture into applying to the college of your dreams.


Sophia Anderson is an associate educator, tutor and part-time writer. She is passionate about covering topics on learning, writing, self-improvement, motivation and others. She believes in the driving force of positive attitude and constant development. Talk to her on Facebook or LinkedIn.

This article was shared with us by CollegeWeekLive

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