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Top 5 College Application Mistakes You Should Avoid

Posted on November 4th, 2013 by Bryanna Davis

The Mistakes:

Admissions officers go through hundreds and at times even thousands of applications each year. This task can become so tedious and scrupulous that a simple mistake a student makes in his essay or a tiny typo in her answer to a redundant question can cause a huge “crossing this one off the list immediately” moment to some. If international students put themselves in the shoes of admissions officers, they may be able to complete an application that makes it easy for admissions officers, thus constructing their chances of attending their choice schools that much easier. Below are the top five college application mistakes as well as some college admittance tips to help you get started in the right mode during the application process for a communication degree

Grammar and Spelling Errors:

Probably one of the most frustrating pet peeves to admissions officers, grammar and spelling errors signify that the student is either a) poor at spelling and constructing proper sentences, b) apathetic about the university and application process or c) too lazy to have someone review his application. None of these options really appeal to the officers, so make sure that you spend the time to ensure that your application, essay, and other materials are free of all errors and the fluidity of everything you write says that you are professional and serious about the prospect of attending the college.

Missing Deadlines:

Don’t do it. It shows incompetence and indifference, a lack of organization skills and foreshadows what the student may be like if attending the college. There is no student who is “above the deadlines.” These deadlines are given in advance so that students can allot the time they need to complete the application and send it on time. It is unfair for other students who worked to get their applications in on time. If you are unable to juggle all of the deadlines, start early to ensure that you do not have so many things due at one time. This is college now, and no one is going to hold your hand. Don’t expect any privileges. Turn in your application on time, or wait until the next semester.

 Inappropriate Social Media Posts:

 Most students think that admissions officers won’t check their social media sites, but the chances are high that they will. If there is anything inappropriate posted on Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites, students are encouraged to delete it before sending their applications. Something like a picture of you drinking shots or posting immature posts and vulgarity can make you lose your spot in the admissions line-up. If you want, you can take it even further and not submit inappropriate posts in the first place because potential employers will also check social media sites and college employees may check your profiles at any given time during your schooling.

 Incorrect Information:

Don’t lie to admissions officers because they most likely will find out. They may check with your high school and previous employment to make sure you are being truthful. Lying on your application can ruin your chances automatically.

 Ignoring the Prompt:

Following directions is the most important part of your application. Not following directions serves as a slap in the face to most admissions officers. If the essay asks you who your role model is, don’t write about your biggest success in life or go on a tangent about an obstacle in your life that you have overcome. Even if you think what you are writing is more important than the prompt, it looks childish and selfish. Also, if the application states to write your essay in a maximum of 700 words, do not write 1000. Answer the prompt and follow directions.

The Tips:

Along with the most important “do nots” –the top five college application mistakes—it is also important to know some college admittance tips to further your chances of being selected to a school of your choice. The first tip is to take advantage of free money. There is free money everywhere. Do not be afraid to apply to a college due to a fear that you will not be able to afford it. Colleges give away scholarships and sometimes the more expensive the college is, the more scholarship money they have available. Also, be sure to get involved in high school. Admissions officers are looking for well-rounded students. When applying, be confident, but remember the fine line between confidence and arrogance. It may sound strange to not be arrogant when a college application is essentially an encouragement for you to emphasize your accomplishments, but use your words carefully and don’t cross the line. Be sure to include what you are excited about in the future, not merely what you have achieved thus far. Lastly, make sure you review your application an ample amount of times. Review your application at least three times and have a parent, counselor or teacher to review your application as well. This will ensure that everything is correct, flowing, and that nothing is left out.

When combining the top five college application mistakes with some college admittance tips, you should be able to increase your chances of being accepted into your choice colleges. Now, go make a cup of hot tea, have a seat, and breathe. In a few months, this will all be over and you will be able to focus on other stresses besides the college admission process, like your first college economics midterm and philosophy essay.

If you still need to find a school to apply for- find a school in the US and get started!

Written by Bryanna Davis

Bryanna joined EIC in 2011 after returning to the United States from teaching English in China. Her interest in international education, sparked initially by her own study abroad experience in Wales, led her to the company. Bryanna is originally from Missouri and is a graduate from the University of Central Missouri.

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2 Responses to “Top 5 College Application Mistakes You Should Avoid”

  1. Jjingo samuel Bagenzekukola Says:

    Am Glad to have attended the Education week and I Don’t want to miss on the incredible opportunity of studying abroad because ; I’ve never traveled : I don’t want to attend graduate school In U.S.A ; I Dream studying abroad, can bring me to a place I never thought I’d find myself : America.
    But i can’t cover my studies’ cost, yet I wish to attend daily classes in there in United Stated States Of America while also gaining experience in Business Administration , and so that I may may travel to different locations to learn about my field from different perspectives.
    This year, the Information Resource Center, in partnership with the Political Office, introduced this monthly debate program to encourage critical thinking, personal expression, and tolerance for others’ opinions. The Great debate club meeting, which began in January, will ended in June 2013 . I was among the participants whom the program helped to discover and reignite my debating talent , and I need to gain more experience in my Discovered talent and career ; Does the Insider’s Guide to Higher Education Have this provision ?
    Every body wants to study abroad in the U.S. and By studying abroad, I choose to : 1 . expand on what I had learned about Debating , Business Administration , and Democracy in America, and to get a first-hand look at the education experience in U.S.A another country from home .
    2. Broaden my experience with other cultures. There’s no better way to learn about the world you live in than to travel, meet new people, eat different foods and learn different cultures.
    3 . Looks great on a resume/curriculum vita . Not everyone takes advantage of these opportunities; my experience could make me stand out from others when Presenting our views looking for employment.
    Am indeed intrigued by the idea of attending university abroad. I had not thought i could make mistakes in my college application ; My questions Were about : Requirements for F1 certificate of eligibility 1-20,A-B form , How To choose an appropriate University for a graduate degree in U.S.A , How Can i get funding or scholarship as a degree seeking student ? and whether accrediting bodies can recognition A Diploma In Business Administration i obtained from some licensed college in Uganda , among other concerns which were responded to in now that i have had the a tip off of the Top 5 College Application Mistakes i Should Avoid my chances of being selected to a school of my choice are high

  2. Veronica Says:

    Hi, ya thats true. Simple mistakes in college application essays can ruin your entry to the college. So, it should be avoided. Thanks for sharing this useful information.

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