The College Convo: Application Edition

college-convo-logo  College. It’s the super exciting, but more than slightly terrifying word describing the next step for about 69% of high school seniors, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you’re freaking out, even a little, the time to worry is over. The College Convo is here with all the tips and tricks you need to not only survive, but thrive on the road to college.

If you’ve taken an AP class, you’re probably familiar with collegeboard.org. They’re not only good for giving you your AP scores, they also have GREAT tips for your college application. With some help from College Board and other reliable sources, you can all knock the socks off all those admissions officers. Here’s some tips:

Get organized.

If you haven’t already started your applications, GET TO IT. College Board recommends that you start early so especially if you’re applying early action or early decision, set deadlines for everything. Essays, teacher recommendations, and the application itself are all things that take time you may or may not have in your life.

If you’re not sure when things are due, check the Common App or the websites of the colleges you plan on applying to. The next step is adding all deadlines and dates of importance to a calendar you check regularly.

Be Consistent and Careful.

Applications need to be accurate and – when filling out multiple things for the same school – consistent. According to College Board, using the same name exactly on all forms makes things easier for admission officers. Remember, they’re your key to getting into the school of your dreams so easier for them is better for you.

The careful part comes in here. After completing your application, College Board recommends leaving it for a day then proofing it. If a parent or teacher can proof it, even better.

“US News and World Report” interviewed college admissions officers, asking about their pet peeves.

Robert Barkley from Clemson University advises students to read directions carefully. If the application asks “do you have a visa,” they’re not talking about your credit card; they’re talking about necessary paperwork for international students. So try not to give them a nice little laugh by filling in your credit card number.

Don’t forget about Naviance.

Remember that assembly on the first day of school? The counselors gave us some advice that may not have seemed too important at the time. Check out “Loveland HS Office of School Counseling” on YouTube for lots of how-to information pertaining to all things college application.

Keep it clear and concise.

Leigh A. Weisenburger admissions officer from Bates College stresses only submitting a resume if it asks for one. If not, the activity portion of the application will suffice.

If a resume is requested, keep to a maximum of one page.

“At my stage in my career, I shouldn’t have a three-page resume. So no 17 year old should be submitting a three-page resume,” Weisenburger said.

Don’t stress.

It’s a busy time of year full of every other responsibility, plus applying to the foundation of your future. Take a breath, maybe five, but don’t worry. If everything I told you wasn’t enough, burn a google or two and get some tips from all the experts out there.

Good luck, and don’t miss out on your senior year before we climb our way back to the bottom of the food chain.

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