I finished up a week and a half in Colorado with a selective college presentation the other night at The Colorado Springs School. Families come to these presentations to learn; but so many of them are already familiar with the college admission process. So instead, I told them what NOT to do. These are mistakes we see every day that can easily be avoided with a little knowledge.
Top 10 Ways to Not Succeed in the College Admission Process
10. Let your parents play the role of prospective student, not you!
9. Only apply to reach schools.
8. Don't provide an explanation for the “bumps” in your high school record or other credentials.
7. Write what you think we want to hear on the essay instead of writing what you want to say.
6. Approach the “why this school question” exactly the same way for all schools you’re applying to.
5. Overwhelm us with a laundry list of activities you’ve participated in since pre-kindergarten, and start with the oldest first. Similarly, send in mountains of supplemental information.
4. Tell your interviewer you really want to go to another school.
3. Take fewer or less challenging courses senior year because you need a break.
2. Use one-liners to answer all questions on the application.
1. Use your application to tell us what makes you just like everyone else and omit what makes you special and distinctive.
Let me repeat. This is what NOT to do in the process and is all common sense. Approach the college application process as a journey of self-knowledge, not as a test to endure, and you’ll navigate the process just fine.