Your admission application is your chance to shine. Admission officers are looking for qualified students to fill their campuses; it is your job to show the admission officers that you are one of those qualified students. Only you can show them all of the great things that you have to offer their institution.
Remember that your application is just one in a stack of many. The quality and thoroughness of your application will either make it stand out or blend in with the crowd.
Your college admission applications should be a detailed account of your four years of high school. Your high school achievements should be accurately portrayed in your admission applications.
Admission applications commonly contain the following:
1. Unofficial high school transcript (includes courses taken and grades received).
2. SAT and/or ACT scores.
3. Recommendation letters (perhaps the most underrated portion of the application).
4. A list of work experiences.
5. A 500 word essay (topic may vary).
6. A list of references who can comment on your skills and work experience.
7. A list of volunteer or community activities in which you have participated.
8. A list of positions held in high school that show leadership and responsibility.
9. Copies of documents and newspaper clippings verifying your awards and honors.
10. If applying for a program such as art, design, or music, you may wish to include a portfolio of your work.
These strategies will put you at an advantage when it comes to successful college admission applications:
1. Collect and assemble the above listed items into a College Application Packet at the beginning of your senior year. This will put you ahead of the game when the colleges and universities that you are interested in open the window for admission applications.
2. Apply as early as possible. Getting your application on an admission officer’s desk before most other students puts you at the head of the line for an admission offer and shows that you are a diligent and punctual person.
3. Edit your work! It may sound elementary but be sure to carefully review all portions of your application for spelling and grammar mistakes. Have a parent or teacher review your paperwork also. Sometimes the little things (spelling errors, omitted information) can make the difference between acceptance and rejection.
4. Get GOOD letters of recommendation from upstanding people in your community. Letters of recommendation from teachers, high school counselors, community leaders, business people, professional people, and members of the clergy are a vital part of the college admission application and should be treated as such.