The 6 Most Common College Application Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
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Applying for colleges can be an overwhelming process for many students. With so much paperwork and deadlines to keep track of, it's normal for applications to be less than perfect.
We spoke with two college admissions experts to identify the most common mistakes students make on their college applications . Getting accepted on merit and work ethic alone can be difficult enough — don't let one of these six errors disqualify your application.
1. Skimping on Details
Filling out college applications is a lot of work, especially if you plan to apply to many schools . It can be easy for details to slip through the cracks and tempting to keep your application simple. But colleges need a full picture of who you are and evidence that you're serious about attending their school.
For example, when listing activities , you should also detail how you participated. It's pretty easy in high school to "join" a club but just attend the first and last meeting.
Listing things you were involved in will mean more to colleges if you detail the impact you made and how you participated. Make sure those details are accurate, too.
"Students go to school, do homework, study, eat dinner, and sleep," said Laurie Kopp Weingarten, certified educational planner and president of One-Stop College Counseling . "If you claim to have 10 hours per day of activities after school, it's not believable!"
Before you turn in your application, review it several times before submitting it. Many students accidentally use incorrect grammar or leave in the name of a different school, according to admissions experts.
2. Missing Deadlines
This may seem obvious, but missing college application deadlines is another common application mishap. The official application deadline is one of many dates students must keep track of. You'll need to meet deadlines to collect specific application materials in time, like transcripts, recommendation letters , and test scores.
Students are responsible for researching specific program dates as well.
"For example, students submitting portfolios, applying to honors colleges , or pursuing BFA programs have much earlier deadlines," said Rachel Coleman, independent education consultant and co-founder of College Essay Editor .
3. Dishonest or Negative Character
A college will deny you admittance if your application or history indicates negative character traits.
"Colleges are looking to admit students with strong character," explained Weingarten. "When reviewing an application, they don't want to see arrogance, cheating, or somebody who is not a team player. If those unappealing qualities come through in an application, the student is not going to be admitted."
This kind of mistake can manifest in your essay or written responses as well as your school record. Coleman listed things like a history of violence, plagiarism, dislike of learning, and sense of entitlement as common disqualifiers.
In your essays, make sure you aren't putting others down to build yourself up.
"We've explained to many students why the following sentence doesn't go over well: 'While my friends partied at the beach all summer, I was productive, working hard at my Carvel job,'" said Weingarten.
4. Lack of Effort
It will be clear to admissions counselors if you don't put effort into your college application. Your application should demonstrate a passion for your goals and the school you're applying to.
Admissions can tell if you put little effort into an application, miss sections, fail to edit your essay, and generally do the bare minimum to apply. For example, essay responses that don't answer the prompt or are recycled from other applications.
Be sure to submit every application material a school asks for. These materials may include recommendation letters, official transcripts, and SAT or ACT scores .
"Students don't always realize that clicking 'submit' on the Common App doesn't mean they're done!" warned Coleman.
5. Not Showing Specific Interest
Colleges want to admit students who are passionate about attending and have demonstrated that interest. Naming the wrong institution in the essay is a common mistake.
"Admissions officers have shared with us how incredibly often this happens," said Weingarten. "They will be reading a wonderful essay about why the student wants to attend Dartmouth College, and then the ending will enthusiastically declare, 'And that's why the University of Pennsylvania would be the ideal place for me to attend.'"
Similarly, essays that are intentionally vague so that they can be used for multiple applications are an obvious red flag.
"Rejected applications tend to have very general essays, i.e., essays not tailored to the specific qualities of an individual school," said Coleman.
6. Avoiding the Optional Essay
Even if a college application essay says it's optional, it's not really optional. Skipping the essay can often mean you'll be denied acceptance .
According to Coleman, this is a common ploy by colleges and universities to ascertain students' interest in the school. "[Making an essay optional] is a bit of a trick colleges play to see if the student is a hard worker, or actually wants to attend the school," she said.
If students do the bare minimum on their applications, colleges will assume they'll do the bare minimum in school.
With Advice From:
Laurie Kopp Weingarten
Laurie Kopp Weingarten is a certified educational planner and president of One-Stop College Counseling . She graduated with a BSE from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and received her MBA from Harvard Business School. Laurie guides students in the eighth through 12th grade through each stage of the college admissions process, covering high school course selection, standardized tests, extracurricular activities enhancement, volunteer work, summer jobs and internships, essay topic selection, resume guidance, early decision and early action strategies, and interview prep. She is passionate about helping students reach their full potential. Laurie is a professional member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and a member of HECA, NACAC, NJACAC, and PACAC. She is also a proud member of the Character Collaborative.
Rachel Coleman has worked as an independent education consultant for seven-plus years in the college admissions counseling field, helping students navigate the college application and financial aid processes. She is also the co-founder of College Essay Editor , where she loves working with college applicants not only on their applications but also on becoming better writers for life. Rachel received her BA in comparative literature from Stanford University and her college counseling certificate from UCLA . She is a member of the Higher Education Consultants Association.
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Common App Mistakes: Errors to Avoid in Your Application
March 8, 2021
If you’ve embarked on the scary but exciting journey of applying to college, you’ve probably heard of the Common Application. If you don’t know, the Common App is an application system that eases your workload by sending your information to most (if not all!) of the schools on your list. The Common App helps you organize your information, activities, and scores so that you don’t have to type them multiple times to send to each institution. Over 800 colleges use the Common App, so chances are, at least a few of your schools are members of this portal. It is divided into different sections:
- Additional Information
At first glance, the Common App can seem overwhelming. It’s very easy to forget a tiny detail that can make a big difference in how your applications are evaluated. Look over our list of frequent mistakes to stay extra careful. If you avoid the following Common App mistakes , the process of filling out the portal will go much more smoothly and help you submit clean applications.
List of Common App Mistakes You Should Avoid
Mistyping personal information.
When filling out the Profile, Contact Information and Family sections of the Common App, be very careful. It’s surprisingly among the top Common App mistakes to mix up your school address with your house address, put your sibling’s first name where your first name should go, or accidentally reverse two digits of your phone number. These sound obvious, but you’d be amazed how often it happens. Read through each section very carefully, and double-checking that all names, addresses, and phone numbers are correct.
Having someone else fill out the application on your behalf
This is your application. Of course, it’s okay to have a parent or teacher proofread the different sections. But ultimately you should be the one physically typing everything in the Common Application. When you fill out the Common App, you have to affirm that everything you’ve submitted is your own work, factually correct, and presented honestly. Don’t start your college journey by compromising your integrity!
If someone else is typing from your account, they won’t know everything about you because nobody knows your interests, grades, and extracurricular activities better than you do. Only you can paint a full and clear picture of what you’ve achieved so far. Moreover, you’re going to have to fill out a lot of applications when you’re in college - for courses, fellowships, clubs, and more, so start making a habit of it now.
Only listing native languages
You do not have to be fluent in a language to add it to your Common App profile. Though this error won’t make a huge difference, it’s still pretty impressive if you can read and write in two or three languages even if you’re not a native speaker. For example, if you’re hoping to major in Middle Eastern Studies, the ability to read or write in Arabic is undoubtedly an asset. Admissions officers will understand more about your interests and/or cultural background through the languages where you have relatively proficiency.
Confusing community-based organizations with other outside resources
The Education section of the Common App asks whether you’ve received support with your college applications from any community-based organizations. It’s important to know which organizations count. Examples of community-based organizations are Quest Bridge, Upward Bound, Boys and Girls Club, and The Posse Foundation. Community-based organizations do not include guidance counselors or private counselors, so don’t include them as your answer to this section.
Listing that you are “undecided” in the Future Plans section
This entry among the Common App mistakes is one you don’t want to make. Since you’re in high school, you probably don’t have your entire career plan mapped out right now. Having said that, you shouldn’t select “Undecided” under “Career Interest” in the Future Plans subsection under Education. Doing so tosses away an opportunity to tell admissions officers something about yourself. Colleges might think you haven’t put any serious thought into your career, or that you lack ambition. So brainstorm what your academic interests are, what you’re passionate about, and what you can see yourself doing. Your answer here doesn’t have to be set in stone, so don’t worry, you’re not making a lifelong commitment!
Overemphasizing extracurricular activities
The Common App allows you to add up to 10 extracurriculars in the Activities section. For some students, this number may be a lot. It can be tempting to exaggerate your achievements to appear more impressive - saying you’ve led projects for your organization when you’ve been just a general member, or stating your documentary has reached over 100,000 views when it only has 1000. Instead of exaggerating your accomplishments, focus on framing what you’ve actually done so far in a way that exemplifies your leadership and communication skills, highlights tangible achievements, and conveys your passion and interests. An important inclusion among Common App mistakes is making sure you don’t overstate the hours spent on an extracurricular either. Admissions officers are smart enough to do the math and know that your after-school clubs adding up to 40+ hours isn’t exactly accurate.
Failing to take full advantage of the space available
You can add up to 150 characters to sum up each of your 10 activities. No, that’s not a lot of characters, but being able to summarize your extracurriculars is also an opportunity you don’t want to miss. So don’t just name what you’ve done - optimize the space to describe it further. Use strong verbs to be as specific as possible, and remember to prioritize your tangible and quantifiable achievements.
Using uncommon acronyms
While you don’t want to run out of characters when describing your activities, you also don’t want to leave admissions officers confused and lost when they are reading your Common App. So even though the names of organizations may take up a lot of characters, using acronyms for uncommon institutions will not work in your favor. It’s okay to use well-known acronyms such as UNICEF or BBC. But if you use acronyms for obscure online magazines or grassroots organizations, such as ASOFFM, admissions officers will not immediately know that you’re talking about the Asian Student Organization for Future Musicians.
Adding non-academic achievements in the Honors list
The Activities section in the Common App includes a subsection to list your honors and achievements. The Common App does specify that your achievements indicated in this section must be “academic.” While the definition of academic includes an art prize or published journal article, this is not the place where you mention that you’ve won a nationwide award for video gaming or set a new world record for hopscotch. Use your best judgment to determine what counts under academic achievements. When you think about Common App mistakes to avoid, remember that if the award is in an area that is a common academic department at college, then it is fine to list here.
Mixing up grades
This one is of the easiest Common App mistakes to make, and easy to avoid at the same time. When listing your grades, be careful about transcribing information onto the Common App. Admissions officers expect consistency!
Reporting standardized scores incorrectly
On a similar note, you do not want to type in the wrong scores for standardized tests, whether intentionally or by accident. Your official SAT scores are sent by College Board to each of your schools, so if you’ve made an error on the Common App, and it doesn’t match the official score, admissions officers will grow skeptical about your entire application, even if you did type the wrong score by accident. Proofread everything!
Selecting the wrong essay topic
Before you write or paste your personal statement in the Common App, you have to indicate which essay prompt you’ve answered. An easy error you can make here is mistakenly selecting the fourth prompt when you’ve actually answered the third. Your essay will leave admissions officers confused or believing that you didn’t answer the prompt.
Answering only parts of a prompt
Speaking of incorrectly answering a prompt, often personal statements and supplemental essay prompts contain multiple questions. When you’re reading fast it’s easy to overlook a second sentence or miss a section part of the question, and only answer half of the prompt. Make sure you read very carefully and note exactly what the question is asking for before you sit down to outline your essay.
Writing your personal statement about someone else
Your personal statement is exactly what it sounds like - it’s an essay about you . The essay is your chance to tell a story about your life or highlight a part of you that cannot be guessed from reading the rest of your application. What it also means is that you can’t make someone else the protagonist of your own personal statement. Yes, your grandfather’s experiences at war could have inspired you. But his story is unlikely to belong in your essay. It’s not his college application. As you think about Common App mistakes , remember that your goal is to avoid focusing on anyone else and instead write a powerful essay that narrates a unique story about you .
Doing a poor editing job
You’re going to have to do a lot of writing in college. You shouldn’t submit a sloppy first draft as your final Common App personal statement. Proofread multiple times, and have a parent or teacher proofread as well. Make sure you’ve used correct spelling and grammar. Avoid flowery language and overused figures of speech. Go through multiple drafts to make sure you’re turning in the best essay you possibly can. Your writing has to capture admissions officers’ attention from the very beginning. Any glaring errors will work against you.
Writing generic supplemental essays
When you add your colleges on the Common App, you’ll be able to see supplemental questions for most colleges. While some prompts may overlap, such as “why do you want to go to our school,” avoid submitting the same supplement for multiple schools because they will end up sounding generic. Don’t copy and paste an essay for one school onto another because you might forget to change the name of the school. The last thing you want is to accidentally mention Harvard in your Princeton essay, but admissions officers see this every year. Instead, look through the website of each school and find examples of what you’re excited about - whether it’s certain courses, the ice cream selection at the cafeteria, or the research facilities. You want admissions officers to see that you’ve done the research and that you’re genuinely interested in the school.
Using the Additional Information section as an extension of other sections
This is among the Common App mistakes many students make. The Additional Information section at the end of the Common App should not be used as a continuation of your personal statement or your activities list. Those sections have assigned character limits for a reason. This section can be used to explain extenuating circumstances, link to a research abstract, or include your writing or art portfolio.
Closing the tab without saving
When you click the “continue” or “back” back buttons after you’ve filled out a section, your information is automatically saved. However, if you close the window without clicking either, or you refresh the tab, everything you’ve put in will be lost. So make sure all changes are saved before you exit. You don’t want to lose progress and have to re-write all 10 of your activities.
Forgetting that all schools aren’t on the Common App
Don’t start planning your next vacation once you’ve finished filling out the Common App. Remember, not all schools are member colleges. Some, such as the University of California schools, MIT, and schools in Texas have their own application systems. So your job may not be done. Make sure that you’ve completed your profile on all applicable portals. You don’t want to scramble the day before the deadline.
Waiting until the last minute
The Common App cannot and should not be entirely filled out in one day. As you know by now, it’s easy to overlook instructions or mix up numbers. You need to give yourself enough time to gather all your materials, and actually sit down and carefully list your information. Don’t wait until the day before your first college app is due to start writing down your name and contact information. This can be started as early as August 1st when the Common App opens. Take advantage of the time now when you’re less stressed to keep ahead of the deadlines.
Once you work on your application, review this list of Common App mistakes according to the section you’re tackling. Completing the Common App requires a significant amount of time, but once you’ve hit that submit button, college applications will be out of your way. Remember - start early. As August rolls around, log on to commonapp.org and start filling out your information. Good luck!
Tags : college application mistakes , common application , common app mistakes , filling out the common app , common app tips
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7 Common Mistakes on the Common App
If you are applying to college, you will almost certainly be using the Common Application. Here is our list of the 7 most common mistakes we see students and families make in filling out the Common App with advice on how to avoid them.
Proofreading the “Print Previewing”
The Common Application allows you to review your application as a PDF in the same format that admissions officers will see your application. Make sure you review this PDF, which can be accessed before the payment and signature pages. (Don’t worry if it says submit as part of the navigation button – as long as you have not paid for or signed/dated the application it will not actually be submitted.) When you look over the PDF, make sure you proofread for spelling, grammar, and accuracy but also make sure you proofread for formatting! Check to make sure that none of your answers are cut off and that all your information is inputted into the correct data fields.
Careless mistakes in an application communicate to admissions officers a lack of effort. In a pool of thousands (or tens of thousands) of applicants, you do not want to appear like you are not taking the application seriously.
Putting resumes in Additional Information
Some schools might ask or allow for a resume, and if they do, you can be assured they will have specific instructions on how to submit that document. Most schools, however, do not ask for a resume and will use the Academic, Extracurricular, and Awards & Honors sections to paint a more detailed view than what a one-page document can provide. Copying and pasting a resume into the Additional Information section is not only unnecessary but mostly unwanted by admissions officers. Bottom line: do not submit a resume unless a college asks for it.
Not using each area to tell your story
Admissions officers will read your Common Application as one document. Make sure you are organizing your information into the sections where it fits best rather than trying to figure out how you can work every piece into every section. Your Common App should collectively tell a story, so allow that story to develop throughout the application. Don’t repeat yourself needlessly. Nobody likes redundancy.
Writing about specific colleges outside of their supplements
You should not write anything specific about a school you are applying to in the main section of the Common App. After all, if you write in the Additional Information section how much you love East College and how it is your first choice school, then every college you apply to will see this information! Keep the Common App information common to all the schools you are applying to and the school-specific information in the sections unique to each school. Proofreading (see above) will also help catch this embarrassing mistake!
Waiting until the last minute
Procrastination is never a good idea, and the Common App is no exception. While students should get the process started when they are ready, sticking closer to August 1st is a better idea than December 31st. Adding schools to your Common App early will allow you to view the supplementary sections that are otherwise unviewable and will add you to a list of interested students the school can use to send you information and marketing materials. Starting earlier will also allow your teachers to submit their recommendations earlier. And at the very least, starting earlier can help you avoid the last-minute rush so you are not affected by high web traffic at 11:59pm or last-minute technical difficulties the Common Application has experienced in recent years.
It goes without saying, but you should not falsify any information on your application. If you do not have a class rank, do not put a class rank. If you are not the president of an organization, do not put you are president. Inconsistencies are giant red flags to an admissions committee. Something that you say that doesn’t line up with what a teacher or guidance counselor writes about you in their recommendation or that doesn’t line up with something you’ve put elsewhere in your application is likely to be uncovered and can put the rest of the application into question. You’ve worked hard during your entire high school career; don’t let something so silly taint it all. In the Activities section, admissions officers can add up the hours and recognize an impossible level of extracurricular commitment.
Picking the wrong essay topic
Your Personal Statement should be you on a page. The Common App gives 7 different topics to choose from, and given the seventh is “Topic of your choice” you can certainly write about any topic you choose that will best demonstrate to the admissions committee who you are. Three of the prompts accounted for nearly 75% of all student personal statements last year, and “Topic of your choice” was not the most answered! Don’t feel compelled to pick one prompt because it might stand out or another prompt because someone told you that’s the one admissions committees want to read about (they don’t care). Write your Personal Statement about what you want the committee to know and understand about you.
If you need guidance in choosing a topic and crafting a personal statement, contact us today through our website or at [email protected]!
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Admissions Officers Share Their 5 Biggest Application Pet Peeves
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Authenticity, honesty, and attention to detail can help your college application stand out. Here are final considerations from admissions officers before you send your applications.
You put a lot of time and effort into your GPA, test scores, and essays . Don’t detract from all that hard work with easily avoidable college app pet peeves. These tend to be the easiest mistakes to fix, including sloppy editing, misspelled words, and lack of attention to detail.
Don’t detract from all of that hard work with easily avoidable college application pet peeves. To be sure you make the best impression you can with your application, here are the most common college application mistakes that admissions officers experience.
1. Not Getting Specific about That School
Even if you’re using the common application, you may need to write a supplemental essay specific to certain colleges. This isn’t the time to copy and paste the school’s name into a generic essay. Instead, focus on getting granular about why you want to apply to that specific school. Rachel White, a former assistant dean of admissions at Swarthmore College, says, “[Students] need to take the time to make sure that there’s personalized information in each essay. I always enjoyed it when students went beyond the general size, academics, and location of the school and wrote about how these might contribute to their education and experience over four years.” White says your goal is to get an admissions officer to picture you on campus. Details specific to the school can really help that.
Greg Kaplan, who worked in undergraduate admissions at the University of Pennsylvania and is the founder of the Kaplan Educational Group , warns against committing one of the more noticeable and easily avoidable errors. “Referring to the wrong school in your essay is a major no-no. The last thing an admissions officer wants to hear is why some other school is your top choice.” Be sure to double-check your work when you’re reusing the same essay for multiple applications so this doesn’t happen.
2. Sloppy Applications
Josh Postalwaite, a former admissions recruiter for Salem Community College, recommends students read application questions thoroughly and take the time to answer specifically what’s being asked. He’s seen several applications with glaring mistakes that some careful reading would have caught, including not answering an essay prompt accurately. He says application mistakes like that “make you wonder how a student can keep up with course work if they aren’t willing to read an application carefully enough to answer every question.”
But small details are equally important. A “there” when you meant “their” can make a college admissions counselor second guess an otherwise strong application. And the same goes for formatting errors, unusual fonts, or anything else that might make your English teacher get out their red pen. Kaplan also offers the simple tip of proofreading your application . Ideally, someone else should take a look, whether it’s a parent, guidance counselor, teacher, or even an eagle-eyed friend. It’s helpful to get a set of fresh eyes on your application so you can be sure to catch errors. Kaplan warns, “Not showing you care enough to polish your application is an easy way to end up in the rejection pile.”
3. Communication That’s Too Casual
Goofy, silly, or too casual email addresses need not apply, says Postalwaite, who lists immature email addresses as one of his application annoyances. He recommends getting a professional-sounding email address based on your first and last name. It’s also a good idea to use your own address—not your mom or dad’s email address. He adds, “Once you have that set up, use it. Students, trust me, if you check your email regularly, you will be well-informed.” Not checking and replying to emails is another one of his applicant pet peeves.
Finally, you might find yourself communicating with an admissions officer on social media. That has become more and more the norm, but the same rules apply. Keep things professional, and also make sure that your online presence is one that you’re proud for an admissions officer to see. If not, it may make sense to lock down any social media accounts to friends only, while polishing up a public, professional account to communicate with admissions officers, and interact with the college’s social media handles.
4. A Generic Essay That Rehashes Your Résumé
Reading a list of achievements and activities says a lot about what you’ve done but not who you are. And admissions officers are trying to get a sense of who you are . There are sections of the application when lists are required and where you’re expected to share your college résumé . That’s why it can be a good idea to use your essay as a way to show the admissions officers your personality and the way you see the world. Kaplan reports a major pet peeve of his are essays that are nothing more than lists in full sentences, without any reflection of the applicant’s personality. He says, “Simply using the essay to rehash things you have done in the past deprives [admissions officers] of an opportunity to understand what you will add to their school through the way you see the world.” Memorable essays don’t need to cover noteworthy accomplishments; an essay about working at the mall can be meaningful if it shows your personality, your point of view, and how you’ll bring your perspective into your college experience.
5. Helicopter Parents
Parents are a big part of the college process, but remember, you’re selling why you would be a great addition to the school, not anyone else. Victoria Bartley, a former assistant director of admissions at the University of Chicago, says it can be a red flag “when a student’s parents call or email, trying to check whether documents have been received or to ask application-specific questions.” She says, “What it tells an admissions counselor is that this student is not taking charge of their own process, which makes one wonder how they might handle all the new responsibilities and independence they will encounter in college.”
Ashley Kollme, a former admissions officer at Davidson College, adds, “In this age when helicopter parents are doing so much for their children, it truly stands out to admissions officers when students drive the process themselves.”
Ultimately, an admissions officer’s goal is to find the fit between students and their school. Avoid these common pitfalls and application mistakes to make sure your application stands out in all the right ways.
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Seven Common College Application Mistakes
From repurposed essays to college name misspellings, believe us—admissions teams have seen it all. And while these application mistakes may be common, it doesn't mean they're unavoidable.
As you gather everything together to send yours off, keep in mind this list of the seven most common app mistakes we've seen.
- Writing a generic essay. Colleges know you're most likely applying to several schools, so be sure you're not treating each application with individual care. Read and answer prompts carefully; don't recycle an essay you've sent somewhere else...especially if it's off topic. (Struggling with your essay? Check out these college essays that worked for Siena). That said, get this: Siena’s Express Application doesn’t require an essay . More on that later!
- Forgetting to proofread. This isn't a quick text message to your buddy who will disregard your spelling errors. The admissions team will notice applications with grammar or punctuation errors, so read—and then reread—everything . Get a second (or third) eye to review anything you may have missed.
- Underemphasizing extracurriculars. Many schools weigh extracurriculars alongside grades and tests, so don't just list your activities. Here's your chance to get specific with details and make your accomplishments stand out.
- Crossing off a college you can't afford. A little off topic, since this tip isn't about the application itself—but it's a big mistake people make during the process: don’t skip applying to a school because its tuition seems too expensive. You have options, like talking to a financial aid counselor about scholarships and aid, that make colleges much more affordable . Many students, including at Siena, don’t pay the full sticker price. (You may be happily surprised at what our Net Price Calculator shows as an estimate of your actual cost to attend Siena.)
- Lacking familiarity with the school. While we'd hope you're applying to schools you actually want to attend, don't forget to do some thorough research. Often schools have a Why do you want to attend our school? prompt, so show them you're interested in them specifically! Let them know you've visited, checked out their academic programs, etc.
- Thinking “shortcuts” will hurt your decision. Siena College is officially test-optional. And what’s more, we offer you the choice of submitting the Common Application or Siena’s Express Application—the latter of which takes about 10 minutes and (as mentioned before) doesn’t require an essay. Although these sound like shortcuts, we see them as more efficient and fair ways of helping you get your college application in and ensure applicants are on a more even playing field. Don’t dismiss these opportunities and worry that they’ll hurt your chances; they won’t!
- Applying on the deadline. While there are emergency exceptions, you'll want to avoid sending in your application on its actual due date. For one, colleges have different deadlines, so you don't want to risk confusing them and accidentally missing a deadline. Plus, if there's anything you're forgetting (like a letter of recommendation), you won't have the extra time to fill in the holes. Don't stress yourself out more than you need to; apply sooner than later.
With all that said, are you feeling like your app is in tip-top shape and clear of errors? Let Siena know you're interested…
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Common College Application Mistakes
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The college admission process can be a scary one, but it doesn't have to be. Armed with good information and a solid plan of action, you can eliminate mistakes that might stifle your options or kill your chances of admission.
1. YOU MISS THE BOAT ACADEMICALLY The single most important factor in gaining admission to the college of your choice is how well you perform in a college preparatory curriculum, according to a study by the National Association for College Admission Counseling. (Second and third in importance are admission test scores and class rank.)
An ideal college-prep curriculum includes the maximum number of English, science, mathematics, social studies, and foreign language classes you can successfully manage in high school. To be sure, other factors will enter into the college admission decision, but nothing will have as much weight as your performance in the classroom.
A related mistake is assuming that a high grade-point average is more important than the difficulty of the classes selected. Nothing could be further from reality.
"The most common reason we deny admission is because students have chosen easy elective courses instead of more demanding college-prep courses," says Dan Saracino, dean of admissions at Notre Dame University in Indiana.
2. YOU IGNORE GREAT RESOURCES Limited information is the No. 1 cause of bad decisions. Many students fail to identify and use the resources (human and material) available to them during the college exploration and decision-making process. This often leads to the if-only-I-had-known statement at some point in the future.
Contact current college students (perhaps graduates of your high school) for the inside scoop on your top-choice schools. Seek out school counselors, admission counselors, and financial aid officers for specific information regarding the admissions process.
Parents, family members, and friends can serve as sounding boards for all this newly acquired information. There are also countless tools guides, directories, videos, and software available through your career/college resource center, guidance office, and school and public libraries. Finally, take advantage of campus visits, college fairs, and counseling seminars to learn more about your options.
3. YOU FOLLOW THE PACK Don't choose College X because your best friend did. The reason a friend chose College X may have nothing to do with your educational objectives and ambitions.
Personalize your search so that you can apply your values and test many of the myths about colleges. (Examples: Small colleges are intimate and friendly. The best colleges are the expensive ones.)
"Some students think that if it's a large college, the classes must be large, too," says Patricia Riordan, dean of admissions at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, where the student body numbers 24,000, but classes can be as small as 20.
You should also define what you're looking for in a college (e.g., major field of study, location, size) and apply these personal criteria throughout the search. Don't make your decision based on the needs and desires of others.
Be just as wary of "ratings" and "rankings" guides. There are outstanding programs within average institutions and weak academic programs within sound institutions. Create a ranking of colleges that works for you.
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What are some common college application mistakes to avoid?
Hey everyone! I'm a junior in high school, and I'm starting to think about the college application process. I want to make sure I don't make any easily avoidable mistakes. Can anyone share some common errors or pitfalls to watch out for? Thanks so much!
Hey there! It's great that you're starting to think about the college application process early. Here are a few common mistakes to avoid: 1. Procrastination: Start working on your applications as soon as possible, especially the essays. Give yourself plenty of time to revise and perfect them. 2. Ignoring deadlines: Stay organized and keep track of all the important dates, such as application deadlines and financial aid deadlines. Missing a deadline could mean you miss out on an opportunity. 3. Not proofreading: Double-check your application for any grammatical errors or typos. Ask a trusted adult, teacher, or counselor to review your application materials before submitting. 4. Choosing the wrong recommenders: Make sure to ask the teachers or mentors who know you well and can speak to your strengths. Give them ample time to write a thoughtful letter. 5. Focusing solely on prestige: Don't just apply to schools because of their ranking. Research each school's programs, campus culture, and location to ensure they're a good fit for you. Best of luck with your applications!
Most Common College Application And Research Mistakes
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Getting Accepted: Common College Application and Research Mistakes
From starting the process too late to sending in sloppy work, here are the most common mistakes students and parents make when it comes to researching and applying to colleges.
Prospective college student survey (1)
College search progress: percentage of participants, research blunders.
Search for programs that match your interests, ask questions and avoid these typical research mistakes. (4)
Your application is a time for you to shine. Don’t dull your chances and avoid these common mistakes. (4)
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The 6 Most Common Blunders of College Applicants
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College application mistakes can make the difference between an acceptance and rejection letter . Below are six common mistakes made by college applicants according to Jeremy Spencer, former Director of Admissions at Alfred University .
1. Missing Deadlines
The college admissions process is filled with deadlines , and missing a deadline can mean a rejection letter or lost financial aid. A typical college applicant has dozens of dates to remember:
- Application deadlines which vary from school to school
- Early action and early decision deadlines, if applicable
- Institutional financial aid deadlines
- Federal financial aid deadlines
- State financial aid deadlines
- Scholarship deadlines
Realize that some colleges will accept applications after the deadline if they have not yet filled their new class. However, financial aid may be much harder to obtain late in the application process.
2. Applying for Early Decision When It’s Not the Right Choice
Students who apply to a college through Early Decision typically must sign a contract stating that they are applying to just the one college early. Early Decision is a restricted admissions process, so it is not a good choice for students who aren’t really sure that the Early Decision school is their first choice. Some students apply through Early Decision because they think it will improve their chance of admission, but in the process, they end up restricting their options. Also, if students violate their contract and apply to more than one college through Early Decision, they run the risk of being removed from the applicant pool for misleading the institution. While this is not the policy at Alfred University, some colleges share their Early Decision applicant lists to make sure students haven’t applied to multiple schools through Early Decision.
3. Using the Wrong College Name in an Application Essay
Understandably, many college applicants write a single admissions essay and then change the name of the college for different applications. Applicants need to make sure the college name is correct everywhere it appears. The admissions officers will not be impressed if an applicant begins by discussing how much she really wants to go to Alfred University, but the last sentence says, “R.I.T. is the best choice for me.” Mail merge and global replace can’t be relied on 100% -- applicants need to reread each application carefully, and they should have someone else proofread as well.
4. Applying to a College Online Without Telling School Counselors
The Common Application and other online options make it easier than ever to apply to colleges. Many students, however, make the mistake of submitting applications online without notifying their high school guidance counselors. Counselors play an important role in the application process, so leaving them out of the loop can lead to several problems:
- High school transcripts are delayed or never get mailed
- Letters of recommendation from teachers are delayed or never get sent
- The college admissions decision process becomes inefficient and delayed
- Applications end up being incomplete because the counselor can’t follow up with the colleges
5. Waiting Too Long to Ask for Letters of Recommendation
Applicants who wait until the last minute to ask for letters of recommendation run the risk that the letters will be late, or they will not be thorough and thoughtful. To get good letters of recommendation, applicants should identify teachers early, talk with them, and give them as much information as possible about each program to which they are applying. This allows teachers to craft letters that match an applicant’s particular strengths with specific college programs. Letters that were written at the last minute rarely contain this type of useful specificity.
6. Failing to Limit Parents’ Involvement
Students need to self-advocate during the admissions process. The college is admitting the student, not the student’s mom or dad. It’s the student who needs to build a relationship with the college, not the parents. Helicopter parents--those who constantly hover--end up doing a disservice to their children. Students need to manage their own affairs once they get to college, so the admissions staff wants to see evidence of this self-sufficiency during the application process. While parents should certainly be involved in the college admissions process, the student needs to be the one to make connections with the school and complete the application.
Jeremy Spencer’s Bio: Jeremy Spencer served as the Director of Admissions at Alfred University from 2005 to 2010. Prior to AU, Jeremy served as the Director of Admissions at Saint Joseph’s College (IN) and various admissions level positions at Lycoming College (PA) and Miami University (OH). At Alfred, Jeremy was responsible for both the undergraduate and graduate admissions process and supervised 14 professional admissions staff. Jeremy earned his BA degree (Biology and Psychology) at Lycoming College and his MS degree (College Student Personnel) at Miami University.
- Month-by-Month Senior Year College Application Deadlines
- What Is Early Decision?
- What Is Early Action?
- Application Deadlines for Top Colleges and Universities
- What Is Rolling Admission?
- Should You Apply to College Early?
- NYU and Early Decision
- Early Action vs. Early Decision
- The Meaning of Single-Choice Early Action and Restrictive Early Action
- 5 Bad Ways to Demonstrate Interest
- What Is a Match School?
- The Common Application
- Sample Responses to a College Deferral Letter
- Demonstrated Interest
- Understanding Legacy Status for College Admissions
- How to Write an Outstanding College Application Essay
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10 Common Application Mistakes to Avoid
In 2019, Approximately 19.9 Million U.S. Students Were Enrolled In College…
As large as that number is, that’s still only a fraction of the amount of students who submitted college applications. Every year, high school seniors are busy trying to stay on top of classes, extracurricular activities, leadership roles, and most importantly, college applications.
So, with the amount of students who are denied admission to college, what are the common mistakes these students are making?
At WeAdmit, we’ve researched the many common college application mistakes students make every year. Understanding what students focus too much on and what they don’t emphasize enough could give you a fresh perspective on your own college applications.
Keep reading to find out what the top ten common application mistakes are and how to avoid them!
What You’ll Find In This Article:
- The Challenges of the College Application Process
- The Top 10 Mistakes Students Make on College Applications
Crafting Your Best Application
The challenges of the college application process.
College applications seem to come at an inconvenient time for high school students. Busy students manage to juggle multiple priorities at once, but eventually, senior year’s distractions can easily pull your focus away from your college applications. Whether you wait too long to get started or don’t have access to the proper resources, college application mistakes are always possible, and the more you can do to prevent them, the better.
You may be a stellar student, but you’re burnt out from all the pressures of high school. It’s healthy to admit that, sometimes, circumstances seem to work against you during college application season. By understanding common distractions that may interfere with your progress on your college applications, you can look out for these roadblocks and deliver an outstanding product to your dream colleges.
The Top 10 Mistakes Students Make On College Applications
College applications are multi-faceted; they contain objective facts about your high school education like grades and scores, and subjective information like your essays, letters of recommendation, and writing supplements.
With all these components to juggle, it’s no wonder that students tend to spend more time on some sections than others. Luckily, by being aware of the most common college application mistakes, you can craft an application that is creative, professional, and worthy of admission.
NOT SEEKING HELP FROM A PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR
Counselors are a vital resource for high school students applying to college. Not only can counselors answer your questions and give you tailored advice in one-on-one sessions, but they can also complete research for you, remind you of deadlines, request letters of recommendation, and send your official transcripts to colleges.
Counselors and their services have helped countless students gain admission into college because they function as a personal college admissions assistant. How can you go wrong with someone dedicated to your success in getting accepted to college?
SPREADING YOURSELF TOO THIN
Don’t forget that working too hard can sometimes reflect poorly on your college application; it may show admission officers that you’re all work and no play, and a big part of having a healthy campus culture is by inviting students that love to have fun too! Be sure to highlight the extracurricular activities that you genuinely enjoy and that look good on an application.
In fact, working too hard can result in a common condition among high school students known as burnout . By creating balance in your schedule and making room for fun activities and a much-needed dose of rest, you’ll be doing yourself a favor. Breaks are necessary, so schedule healthy-sized breaks as you’re completing your application to ensure that you’re coming back to it focused and strong.
NOT SEEKING ADVICE FROM CURRENT COLLEGE STUDENTS
Next to professional counselors, taking the advice of students who have gone before you can save you tons of time and effort. Do some research and find out what current college students learned when they were applying for college; you may find that you can learn from their mistakes too.
Another way you can do this is by utilizing WeAdmit’s College Essay Reviews . In these reviews, we take college application essays that helped current college students gain admission to their top schools, and break them down to find out what they did to give their essay a little extra spark! Plus, our college essay reviews could give you a broader perspective of what a solid essay looks like; taking advantage of these resources could reveal some essay writing mistakes that many students unknowingly make on their applications, and with our tools, you can learn how to avoid them.
NOT WEIGHING YOUR OPTIONS
Too many students randomly choose a handful of colleges without completing sufficient research . Choosing which colleges to apply to is an enormous task within itself; having a basic idea of what you’re looking for in a college will help you choose schools where you have a good chance of gaining acceptance.
The best way to start weighing your options is by considering some of the many factors involved with choosing a college. Some of these factors include in-state or out-of-state , public or private , and how many colleges you should apply to .
A great way to research different colleges quickly is by utilizing WeAdmit’s College Guides . In our college guides, we cover everything you need to know about a college before you apply, including admission requirements, how to apply, campus culture, and career connections:
- What Does It Take To Get Into Harvard?
- What Does It Take To Get Into Columbia?
- What Does It Take To Get Into MIT?
- What Does It Take To Get Into The University of Washington?
NOT GIVING ANY THOUGHT TO MAJOR
Having at least an idea of what you’d like to study can be immensely helpful as you’re completing your applications. One of the biggest parts of college applications is connecting why you belong there, and how you will contribute to their student body. By already knowing which of their academic programs you’re interested in, you can use that as leverage to explain why you chose them, and how they will help you advance in your career.
Many high school students don’t know what they want to major in when they’re applying for college. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be hard; simply consider your likes and dislikes, what you’re passionate about , and what kind of career you see yourself pursuing.
NOT TAKING AP CLASSES
AP classes can do many positive things for you as you’re applying to college. AP classes can raise your GPA, open up a new demographic of college choices , and they look great on any college application. When college admission officers see AP classes on your transcripts, they see how you challenged yourself and worked hard to get excellent grades.
When you receive a high score on your AP exams, it will boost your GPA , and give you more study tools to use as you approach your SATs or ACTs, so make sure to take your AP classes and opportunities seriously.
NOT STARTING EARLY
While most high school students don’t start focusing on college applications until their junior year, it’s never too early to start preparing . Four years go by fast; completing college admission research early and asking yourself some specific questions during your freshman year can give you a vision for how you want to spend your next four years in high school.
Getting an idea about what kind of college you think you’d like to attend and what you’d like to study can help you choose student groups and activities, classes, and summer internships as well.
NOT GIVING YOUR ALL ON YOUR SATS
As you approach graduation, your to-do lists and tasks just seem to keep growing. It’s no wonder that so many students struggle with finding the time to study for their SATs.
College admissions officers learn a lot about their applicants through their college application test scores. They see work ethic, persistence, and dedication to your studies. Whether you take the SAT or the ACT , you should make a practical plan to study for your standardized tests. Enroll in an SAT prep class, invest in good study books, and take advantage of free online practice tests!
Also consider taking SAT Subject Tests ; while these are usually not included in application requirements, SAT Subject Tests are a great opportunity to show college admissions officers your strengths and interests.
NOT SPENDING ENOUGH TIME ON YOUR ESSAYS
Sometimes, students will approach their college application essays with a sense of nonchalance; they think “I just have to write my answer to the prompts” or they think “This college admissions office wants honesty and rawness, so why should I spend time editing it?”
While it’s true that most colleges are looking for honesty in their essays, honesty doesn’t excuse poor writing. You’ll want to find a way to combine a professional, well-written essay with honesty and maybe even a little bit of humor. The best way to do this is to get other people to read them, like a trusted counselor, teacher, or friend, and writing them early and coming back to them often to edit them.
When it comes to writing your best college application essays , it’s important to spend time connecting your desires to your college’s goals. Be sure you take the time to do your research, find out what their mission, vision, and values are, and figure out how you fit into their vision. By clearly outlining this, you’ll be submitting an essay that’s intriguing and compelling for admissions officers to read.
NOT READING CLOSELY
One of the most common college application mistakes is rushing. When you don’t take your time, you put yourself at risk of missing important directions and deadlines.
Be sure that you’re starting your college application process slowly; read all the directions, pay attention to exactly what college admissions officers want from you, and, most importantly , make sure you know your deadlines.
One of the most frustrating college application mistakes for students is missing deadlines. Counselors and college admissions websites usually try their hardest to remind you of deadlines through emails and phone calls, but in all the busyness of senior year, it’s easy for certain dates to slip away from student’s memories. Imagine working super hard on your application, only to find that you missed the deadline. Don’t make this mistake and do whatever you have to do to remind yourself of deadlines.
Another way students can overlook important deadlines is by not understanding the difference between early action, early decision, and regular decision . If your application isn’t finished and you wanted to submit it under early action, don’t feel like you have to! Don’t rush the process; you’ll be submitting a sub-par application in a very strict and binding deadline that could bar you from applying again for another year.
While applications submitted early do carry some priority to them, it isn’t worth it if you haven’t spent as much time as you wanted on it.
Note : All of these mistakes and more can be even more confusing if you’re an international student. If you’re an international student applying to U.S. colleges , WeAdmit’s resources are for you as well. We’ve also outlined some common mistakes international students make …
If you’re approaching college application season, you’re joining droves of other students who are experiencing the same anticipation, excitement, and maybe even a little anxiety about the whole process.
While applying for college seems daunting, especially as you hear about people receiving rejection letters more and more, don’t let all that negativity fog your head. There are plenty of ways for you to ensure that you’re presenting a polished application that contains every requirement the college admissions office asked for.
Fortunately, WeAdmit’s professional counselors help students every day think about the little nuances of college applications that will catch admissions officers’ eyes. We believe that you can get into your dream college, and we’ll continue to create the best resources and guides for you to use as you complete your applications.
Plus, you can even reach out to our professional counselors for one-on-one counseling sessions, where you can ask questions you have about the process, work with the counselor to edit your college application essays to perfection, and get the personalized advice that will make your application shine!
You Can Master Your College Applications, So Start Preparing Today!
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College Application Mistakes: 20 Common Errors to Avoid
By Emily Gunter
September 18, 2020
It’s college application season, and high school seniors have a lot on their plates. In addition to juggling school work, extracurriculars, and a part-time job, the college-bound 12th grader now has to find time to apply for college on top of it all.
This is a busy time in your life, and one small misstep could result in a rejection letter. While your college admission will depend on a variety of factors, there are a few common mistakes you can avoid to maximize your odds of acceptance.
Based on 28 years of experience helping students through the college admission process and advice from our college counselors, we’ve put together a list of 20 college application mistakes to avoid.
20 Common College Application Mistakes to Avoid
1. forgetting to research the college early on.
The college research process should begin as early as freshman year of high school. While you may not know exactly where you plan to attend at that point, you should still look up the admission requirements for some of your top picks.
We say this because your high school courses and grades have a heavy impact on how college admissions officers view your application. If your grades do not meet the standard, you likely will be rejected on the first round of review.
2. Blending in instead of standing out
While attending college is common these days, getting admitted to a highly competitive college is not. The top schools only accept the best and most interesting applicants, so a common high school experience often isn’t enough.
Throughout your high school years, sign up for activities that will expand your experience and help you stand out on your applications. Activities like college camps, internships, starting your own non-profit, sports, and volunteering can help enrich your experience and add depth to your college applications and essays.
3. Aiming too low on test scores
As a baseline, your test scores should at a minimum match the average test scores for students who attend the schools to which you apply. For example, the average SAT® test scores for Columbia University are in the 1450-1580 range for its current student body. So at the minimum, you’d want to aim for a 1450 score in order to maximize your chances of acceptance.
However, test scores are not the only factor that colleges will consider. Many elite colleges report that they reject a number of perfect test scores every year. You’ll want more than just a great test score if you want to attend a highly competitive college.
Some schools have also moved to “test optional” in 2020. At these schools, test scores are often still needed to determine eligibility for areas such as scholarships, competitive degree programs, and honors college placement. However, it is possible to get accepted to a test optional college without submitting a test score.
4. Not putting enough effort into grades
Test scores are important, but so are your grades. An excellent test score but a mediocre GPA can sometimes result in a rejection letter from an elite college.
Keep in mind that colleges will look deeper than just your high school GPA. If you had a high GPA but took mostly easy classes, the admissions officer will notice. If you received a B or a C in an AP calculus class, please note that the difficulty of the course will be taken in consideration when reviewing your application.
5. Selecting the wrong high school courses
Did you know that Ivy League colleges often require that a student take the most difficult high school courses available?
Colleges understand that each high school has different offerings, and they will take that into account. But if you plan to go to an elite college, you should fill your schedule with challenging coursework like AP and honors classes.
Keep in mind that the course requirements differ from major to major. If you plan to major in engineering, your coursework should reflect that you took a good number of STEM courses to prepare for college. If you plan on majoring in journalism, your transcript should show you received good grades in English classes. Colleges will want to see demonstrated expertise in coursework related to your chosen major.
6. Lack of involvement in extracurriculars
One common mistake that some students make is they spend so much time focusing on academics that they never get involved in extracurricular activities.
Colleges look for well-rounded students who have a wide range of experiences. Participating in extracurricular activities like sports and student organizations will help challenge you, expand your horizons, and teach you how to socialize with others.
Extracurriculars will come in handy when creating your college resume or applying for scholarships. Remember, colleges like to see that you stuck with your commitments rather than that you joined every club possible. Select a few extracurriculars to join and try to stay involved in them through all four years of high school if your schedule allows.
7. Picking an unoriginal essay topic
Essays are an important component of your college applications because they allow the college to get to know you in a way that is not shown in the other aspects of your application.
Choose your essay topic wisely. Try to tell your story in a unique and impactful way. Remember that some stories that may have felt life-changing to you probably happened to several other students as well.
Avoid writing about common essay topics like:
- Death of a Family Member
- Your Parent’s Divorce
- The Big Game
If you are still keen on writing about one of these topics, think deeply about how you might tell the story in an interesting way. Sometimes students start with a generic topic and discover a way to put a new spin on it, resulting in a unique essay overall.
Sometimes it helps to receive input from a college counselor when brainstorming potential essay topics. Find out how we can help with college application essays .
8. Risky content in essays
Your essay should not read like a teenage soap opera. You don’t want colleges to think that you’ll just be there for the party.
Illegal activities and intimate details about romantic relationships shouldn’t have a role in your college application essay.
For more advice on what to write about and what to avoid, read “ How to Write a College Application Essay .”
9. Coming off as arrogant in essays
Sometimes students make the mistake of thinking they need to sell themselves in order to get into that dream school. As a result, they make statements like “I was the best” or forget to give credit to others who helped them along the way.
While your application should showcase how awesome you are, you shouldn’t come right out and say it in your essay. Instead, leave it up to the admissions officer to recognize your potential.
10. Relying too much on the thesaurus
Your essays should show your personality, and you should write them using your own voice. You still want to be eloquent, but try to choose your vocabulary naturally. If you go in and replace several words using a thesaurus, you may lose clarity and your voice along the way.
11. Receiving generic letters of recommendation
Many students make the mistake of waiting until senior year of high school to start thinking about letters of recommendation .
It can take years to cultivate a meaningful relationship with a teacher that will result in an outstanding letter of recommendation. We recommend that students start trying to identify 2-3 teachers as soon as sophomore year of high school. Pay attention to the teachers that compliment you or comment on how much you’ve improved.
Before asking for a letter of recommendation, ask yourself the following questions:
- Will he or she remember me?
- Did I establish a meaningful relationship with this person?
- Do I think he or she is capable of writing a compelling letter of recommendation?
- What are some memorable moments I had with this person?
You should ask for a letter of recommendation in your spring semester of junior year at the latest. Remember, you’re not the only student applying to college in your class, so remember to ask early. Some teachers will limit the number of letters of recommendation they are willing to write in a given year.
It also helps to include some context when requesting a letter of recommendation. Remind the teacher which class you had with them or bring up a memorable moment to help jog his or her memory of you.
12. Forgetting to show why you belong
College admissions officers are looking for students who will fit in at their schools. Demonstrate interest in the school by visiting campus or sharing why you belong in your essays or during college interviews.
13. Taking the cookie-cutter approach
When answering the “Why this college” essay prompt, don’t write a generic essay where you switch out the university names for each application. This is lazy and leaves room for error. If you can swap out university names and the essay still reads the same, it’s probably not a memorable essay.
Remember to do your research and be able to distinguish one school from another. It’d be pretty embarrassing to accidentally tell the University of Texas at Austin that you can’t wait to become an Aggie.
14. Only applying to reach schools
Sometimes, a student will choose to only apply to reach schools and end up with nothing but a pile of rejection letters and a heart full of doubt.
Keep in mind that Harvard University only accepted 4.5% of the 43,330 applicants that applied in 2019. Valedictorians and students with perfect SAT® and ACT® test scores were among the vast majority of applicants that this elite college rejected.
Even with a seemingly perfect college application, there is a chance that some of the schools to which you apply will reject you. It’s pretty rare that a student gets into every college on the list.
For this reason, we recommend that students create a balanced college list to ensure the best results. You may not get into your top choice school, but you may get into multiple schools you could picture yourself attending.
15. Forgetting to submit test scores or transcript
With COVID-19 affecting whether or not students took the SAT or ACT tests this year, there have been several changes to the college admissions process. Some schools have moved to test optional, meaning students do not have to submit scores as part of their application.
However, many families are discovering that “test optional” colleges will still consider test scores when reviewing applications. This means a test score can still help a student get accepted, especially for the more selective aspects of the process such as scholarships, acceptance to competitive degree programs, honors college placement, etc.
It’s a confusing time for the college-bound senior, so we recommend reading the college admissions guidelines carefully. Make sure you follow directions and submit every piece of the application possible. This means that if a test score is optional and you have a good SAT score that could help your odds of acceptance, you should submit your score.
Don’t forget to ask your high school to send your transcript to the colleges to which you apply. Your high school counselor will have specific instructions on how to do this at your school.
16. Forgetting to apply for scholarships or fill out the FAFSA®
For many students, getting in is only half the battle. After receiving that acceptance letter, you then have to figure out how you will afford the cost of college .
Scholarships and financial aid can bring down the cost of college drastically, and some KD students obtain merit-based scholarships that cover their tuition entirely. This requires additional steps to apply and qualify for scholarships.
We also recommend that every student fill out the FAFSA, regardless of your family’s financial situation. Several factors are considered when evaluating financial need, and you may be surprised to find that you qualify for a grant or work study program.
17. Inappropriate content on social media
Did you know that college admissions officers may look at your social media profiles during the admissions process? Remember this when choosing what to post on your social profiles.
Not all college admissions officers include this in their process, and those that do usually do this to find a tie-breaker between you and another highly qualified candidate. You don’t want to lose that battle because you posted an illegal activity, hate speech, or something else inappropriate from their point of view.
Also keep in mind that colleges require students to adhere to a code of conduct. Even after your admittance, a college may penalize you if something on your social media profiles shows you breaking the rules. Bottom line: keep your social media profiles squeaky clean!
18. Too much parent involvement
You love your parents, and they just want the best for you. But if your mom or dad rewrites your college essays for you, then it’s probably time to set some boundaries.
The truth is college admissions has changed since your parents were teens . What worked for them may not work for you.
Also be mindful that admissions officers are pros at reading college essays. They will be able to tell if mom or dad wrote it.
19. Lying or exaggerating about your experience
This one’s probably a no brainer, but some students will go to great lengths to attend their dream college. Do not submit false information on your college application. Nine times out of 10, the admissions officer will see through your bluff, and it will result in an immediate rejection.
There are also legal repercussions for lying or cheating your way through the college admissions process. Recently, some celebrities have been sentenced to jail time for taking an unethical approach to getting their teens accepted to competitive colleges.
Admissions officers read college applications for a living, so it’s also easy for them to see through the fluff. Exaggerating your involvement in an extracurricular or volunteer opportunity, while less serious of a mistake than lying, can also result in a move to the rejection pile.
When it comes to college applications, honesty really is the best policy.
20. Waiting until the last minute
A well-rounded applicant is an organized person who plans ahead. So if you’re trying to communicate that you are a well-rounded, responsible applicant, do not submit your application at 11:59 p.m. on the night that it is due.
If you wait until the last minute, you’ll be rushing to get everything done on time. This results in sloppy essays and room for error when filling out the application.
Plan ahead on your college applications. We offer APPLY NOW! Boot Camps to give students a head start on their college applications. During these small group sessions, students work with our college counseling team to develop two edited essays, the Common App® and ApplyTexas® application, an edited resume, and activity list.
Need more advice for applying to college?
Our experienced college counselors will guide you through every step of the college admissions process, from deciding your college list to making your final college decision. For more information, contact a campus near you.
Emily Gunter is a marketing and communications specialist at KD College Prep.
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“When I first started KD, I had zero SAT® experience. The summer lessons helped me build my foundation and I really started to see a boost in my scores after taking numerous workshops throughout the school year to build on that foundation. Without KD, I don't think I would have the motivation to consistently study for the SAT (test). In the beginning, every time I saw a KD email, I'd remember to sign up for a workshop and practice test for the weekend. Then, it became a habit to go to KD on Saturday mornings. Going to these workshops and taking practice tests consistently helped me get exposed to every question on the SAT (test) for math. Therefore, I was hardly ever surprised to... Read more...
“When I first started KD, I had zero SAT® experience. The summer lessons helped me build my foundation and I really started to see a boost in my scores after taking numerous workshops throughout the school year to build on that... Read more...
Meenakshi S. – Class of 2024
“My wife and I wanted to thank you profusely for working with . She picked Texas A&M, and we are all delighted with the decision. We have visited the college a couple of times and feel it was the right choice for us... We appreciate your patience with her. She could not have gotten here without your help.”
“My wife and I wanted to thank you profusely for working with . She picked Texas A&M, and we are all delighted with the decision. We have visited the college a couple of times and feel it was the right... Read more...
Arun K. – Daughter, Class of 2023
“KD College Prep has offered me multiple resources, makes the effort to craft comprehensive courses, and personalizes instruction that is adjustable to my schedule.”
Quynh T. – Class of 2023
“Ethan is a National Merit Finalist, so he received scholarship opportunities from a number of universities based on his National Merit status, including the University of Houston, where he will be attending tuition-free. He also scored an almost perfect SAT® score (1560), thanks in part to his preparation with KD College Prep.”
“Ethan is a National Merit Finalist, so he received scholarship opportunities from a number of universities based on his National Merit status, including the University of Houston, where he will be attending tuition-free. He also scored an almost perfect SAT® score... Read more...
C.J. S. – Son, Class of 2023
“This was perfect for our son! He needed the structure to get organized to study and did better than expected!”
Hillary B. – Son, Class of 2023
“KD has been very useful for me and has helped me become a better test taker. I don’t think I could’ve gotten the score I got without the countless hours I put in attending workshops, taking tests, and attending reviews.”
Samarth S. – Class of 2023
“Taking KD College Prep has been one of my best choices in high school! All of the instructors definitely know their stuff and teach an extremely useful curriculum in an engaging and efficient manner. I recommend KD to anyone looking to learn more or maximize their scores!”
“Taking KD College Prep has been one of my best choices in high school! All of the instructors definitely know their stuff and teach an extremely useful curriculum in an engaging and efficient manner. I recommend KD to anyone looking to... Read more...
Preston King – Class of 2023
“Overall, it was a good experience. It instilled the discipline to focus on test preparation through workshops and assignments. The review of each test was also very helpful.”
Sajitha N. – Daughter, Class of 2023
“Honestly, was really, really solid. Doing the program the summer before junior year — and I only did the one — actually got me a lot of experience and review of technical skills needed for the SAT® test. I only had to do it once because I got to relearn those pesky algebra skills that I forgot through the program.”
“Honestly, was really, really solid. Doing the program the summer before junior year — and I only did the one — actually got me a lot of experience and review of technical skills needed for the SAT®... Read more...
Katya G. – Class of 2023
“Working with KD was incredible! I truly enjoyed how experienced the counselors were and how deeply they cared about their students. I would recommend KD and especially their college prep plan to everyone who is looking to get professional college admissions advice!”
“Working with KD was incredible! I truly enjoyed how experienced the counselors were and how deeply they cared about their students. I would recommend KD and especially their college prep plan to everyone who is looking to get professional college admissions... Read more...
Ananya A. – Class of 2023
“Our son, Joseph, is our fifth child to go through the KD College Prep program and our fourth National Merit Finalist. He had another test prep program available to him through his private high school but chose KD because he felt like it made the biggest difference in his scores in the least amount of time. He found the program easy to follow and adapt to his strengths and weaknesses. As parents, we cannot say enough good things about the KD program and would recommend it to anyone looking to improve their scores and earn scholarship dollars!”
“Our son, Joseph, is our fifth child to go through the KD College Prep program and our fourth National Merit Finalist. He had another test prep program available to him through his private high school but chose KD because he felt... Read more...
Ellyn A. – Parent of 5 KD Students
“My daughter completed your program in the Plano location. In the fall, she is headed to Colorado School of Mines to study engineering. I asked her if KD had helped her with the SAT® and ACT® tests. She said they helped her know how to manage her time while taking the test as that is a huge aspect to the test.”
“My daughter completed your program in the Plano location. In the fall, she is headed to Colorado School of Mines to study engineering. I asked her if KD had helped her with the SAT® and ACT® tests. She said they helped... Read more...
Julie M. – Daughter, Class of 2022
“(I wanted) help with writing essays and getting into my dream colleges. (I was most concerned with) keeping up with everything I have to do and meeting all the deadlines. The constant and honest feedback about my essays regardless is what I really appreciated. There was a time that writing essays just clicked, and it was much easier after that.”
“(I wanted) help with writing essays and getting into my dream colleges. (I was most concerned with) keeping up with everything I have to do and meeting all the deadlines. The constant and honest feedback about my essays regardless is what... Read more...
Neha C. – Class of 2022
“It’s hard to believe we are finally done at KD Prep with our three children. We are incredibly grateful to you for all of your support over the years, which undoubtedly helped each of our children realize their college dreams. All three were accepted to colleges with single digit admission rates. Our eldest was selected as a National Merit® Finalist and was able to apply to colleges with a perfect SAT® score. Our other two were both named National African American Recognition Scholars and National Merit Commended Scholar. One of them applied to college in 2020 with an SAT score of 1520 (780 math and 740 verbal) and the youngest scored 1500 on the October 2021 SAT test (720 verbal and 780 math). Our... Read more...
“It’s hard to believe we are finally done at KD Prep with our three children. We are incredibly grateful to you for all of your support over the years, which undoubtedly helped each of our children realize their college dreams. All... Read more...
Nike A. – Parent of 3 KD Students
“Obviously SAT® test prep was NOT fun. The experience was difficult and exhausting, but learning through KD definitely made the experience much less stressful and definitely easier. It's a great system with tons of resources all aimed to give you what you need and more to reach whatever score range you set as your goal (I was able to get a 1540). My favorite part though, specifically with the Coppell campus, was the people! Everyone was so incredibly nice and always in impossibly good moods. It was a great environment to learn and improve in!”
“Obviously SAT® test prep was NOT fun. The experience was difficult and exhausting, but learning through KD definitely made the experience much less stressful and definitely easier. It's a great system with tons of resources all aimed to give you what... Read more...
Alex N. – Class of 2023
“I want to thank KD College Prep for helping me get the score I needed to receive over $464,000 in scholarships, including two full rides. I started the program the summer going into my junior year. I had an excellent GPA but struggled on standardized tests. Taking the test prep classes throughout junior year and taking practice tests got me more prepared each time I took the test. I achieved my best score the summer going into my senior year. That score allowed me to apply to my top schools as soon as early decision opened. I am so grateful to Karen Dillard and the extra practice and proctored exams! My parents are grateful too—for the small investment they got a great return.”
“I want to thank KD College Prep for helping me get the score I needed to receive over $464,000 in scholarships, including two full rides. I started the program the summer going into my junior year. I had an excellent GPA... Read more...
Saadia P. – Class of 2022
“I really enjoyed KD because the teachers helped me look at the SAT® test in a whole new angle. I really began analyzing the test and learned how to work math and reading problems in a smarter way, which was really helpful. I also really appreciated all the varied practice and detailed breakdowns from instructors, helping me see not just what answer was correct but why those answers were correct.”
“I really enjoyed KD because the teachers helped me look at the SAT® test in a whole new angle. I really began analyzing the test and learned how to work math and reading problems in a smarter way, which was really... Read more...
Pranathi P. – Class of 2022
“KD had a very streamlined process of learning the ins and outs of the reading and grammar part of the SAT® test as well as a very well-structured mathematics process that went through the subjects of algebra, geometry, and pre-calculus in depth. Another great part of the KD experience was the wonderful staff giving me so many useful tips and strategies for the areas that I was specifically struggling with. The staff understands students have different strengths and weaknesses, and the fact that they tailor the info they give to each student is very useful. Overall, KD has helped me not only with SAT preparation but also with my normal school work.”
“KD had a very streamlined process of learning the ins and outs of the reading and grammar part of the SAT® test as well as a very well-structured mathematics process that went through the subjects of algebra, geometry, and pre-calculus in... Read more...
Armaan C. – Class of 2023
“I am very grateful that KD was able to offer so many resources and guides for the SAT® and PSAT tests. They really helped me get a good grasp on the types of questions that the SAT exam tested on, and I was able to get a really good score the first time I took it! Once again, thank you KD, and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to earn a high SAT score.”
“I am very grateful that KD was able to offer so many resources and guides for the SAT® and PSAT tests. They really helped me get a good grasp on the types of questions that the SAT exam tested on, and... Read more...
Sri Vamsi Krishna Putti – Class of 2023, Frisco ISD
“My husband and I are so impressed with your course and the quality of guidance that you provide. It feels like you really want our son to succeed. Thank you!”
Debra H. – Son, Class of 2023
“KD taught me so many useful strategies for the SAT® & PSAT/NMSQT® tests. They helped me improve my SAT score by over 400 points, and I got done with the SAT test at the beginning of 11th grade! I would recommend KD to anyone who wants a highly competitive SAT score. ”
“KD taught me so many useful strategies for the SAT® & PSAT/NMSQT® tests. They helped me improve my SAT score by over 400 points, and I got done with the SAT test... Read more...
Praneel S. – Class of 2023
“My time and experiences at KD College Prep have efficiently guided and prepared me for my future educational career as a college student. Not only did KD help me with college entrance exams but also provided numerous informational seminars that helped me with the various steps required for college admissions. At KD I enjoyed learning from amazing teachers, who cared for each of their students individually and were ready to help wherever it was needed. Being a student at KD has also helped me figure out which learning techniques work best for me. The opportunity to engage in different learning methods such as small group interactive learning, larger group discussions, or individual practice are all ways that helped me come up with a learning... Read more...
“My time and experiences at KD College Prep have efficiently guided and prepared me for my future educational career as a college student. Not only did KD help me with college entrance exams but also provided numerous informational seminars that helped... Read more...
Tanisha P. – Class of 2020
“ My feedback can only be positive, given how much you helped me get ahead with my application process. I really appreciated how much work both of you put into helping me write the best essay possible, especially reviewing my essays twice to polish them completely. In addition, I have noticed that writing my resume has released a lot of stress off my shoulder when it comes to making sure I have all the things necessary to apply to schools. ”
“ My feedback can only be positive, given how much you helped me get ahead with my application process. I really appreciated how much work both of you put into... Read more...
Claudia A. – Class of 2020
“My favorite things about KD were the mirroring it had to actual test questions, the availability, and the relationships you built with all the teachers and advisors who made the process of learning easier. I think that after you started going to a good amount of classes and the workshops, you knew every teacher, and they were always available to answer any questions that you had...Everyone was just so welcoming and made learning more engaging for the students, especially with the workshops. All of had their own unique style of teaching which never made a class boring.”
“My favorite things about KD were the mirroring it had to actual test questions, the availability, and the relationships you built with all the teachers and advisors who made the process of... Read more...
Rishab P. – Class of 2021
“I want to thank both of you so very much for making this dream come true. When I first came to KD, I wanted to get a score of 1520 or above... So many people told me it would be impossible to reach my desired score. After months of using KD's methods my scores definitely improved but hovered around 1350—still not near the score I needed but closer. After finally working with both of you during one on ones, my scores started to see heavy improvement and while I didn't get a score of 1520 or above as a single score, I got it as a superscore ... Read more...
“I want to thank both of you so very much for making this dream come true. When I first came to KD, I wanted to get a score of 1520 or... Read more...
David P. – Class of 2022
“It takes a village to raise a child—this is so true. KD College Prep staff have been nothing but uplifting to my child and to us parents through their eager attitudes to assist, in-depth guidance and unparalleled wisdom. I am in awe at the consistent level of professionalism yet genuine concern for each and every person that walks through their doors. Thank you KD staff for being great mentors for our children!”
“It takes a village to raise a child—this is so true. KD College Prep staff have been nothing but uplifting to my child and to us parents through their eager attitudes to assist, in-depth guidance and unparalleled wisdom. I am in... Read more...
Gloria D. – Daughter, Class of 2021
“I attended KD for the last 3 years, and I was blessed with the opportunity to take the SAT ® test one last time last month. I got a 1430 on the test. I wanted to take the time to say I have finished college applications, and I would love to thank all the teachers and aides at KD for giving me the score that I got on the test. Without the extra practice, I wouldn't have been able to get through to the score I got. These past 3 years went by so fast, and it is so fun to look back at where I started and how much I have come out with flying colors. Thank you so much!”
“I attended KD for the last 3 years, and I was blessed with the opportunity to take the SAT ® test one last time last month. I got a 1430 on the test. I wanted to take the time to say I... Read more...
Kareena A. – Class of 2021
“I just wanted to say thank you to KD for all the help and support you’ve given over the past couple years! I was able to get the scores I wanted for the PSAT, SAT ® , and ACT ® tests. The resources were very helpful, and the individualized assistance I received from teachers were what really supported my learning. Special thanks to Ms. Barwick and Mr. Hoffman!”
“I just wanted to say thank you to KD for all the help and support you’ve given over the past couple years! I was able to get the scores I wanted for the PSAT, SAT ® , and ACT ® tests. The resources were... Read more...
Advika R. – Class of 2022
“I shifted toward taking practice tests and going to workshops because I felt those were the best ways to apply the concepts (I was) learning in class. I started applying the tips and tricks that the teachers were showing me in class. In conjunction, those two things helped me raise my score a lot because I was not a math kid before KD or high school. The repetition and being able to practice in a non-stressful environment and simulating that testing experience is something that was very beneficial for me... “The college counseling team was super patient and honest about the work I was submitting. I know for a lot of kids, it’s hard to articulate who you are through 250-300 words. It was definitely... Read more...
“I shifted toward taking practice tests and going to workshops because I felt those were the best ways to apply the concepts (I was) learning in class. I started applying the tips and tricks that the teachers were showing me in... Read more...
Blaine W. – Class of 2021
“Both of my sons have been guided by KD College Prep counselor Steve Peifer on their journey to finding the right college for them, and we could not have had a better experience and outcome. My oldest son is now a rising junior at the University of Miami, and my youngest son is an incoming freshman at Vanderbilt University. Steve’s help in navigating the complicated college landscape and finding the BEST FIT for my two sons is what has made this resource invaluable. “What made the biggest difference for my two sons was the depth and breadth of knowledge Steve has of the many universities and colleges in the U.S. First, by getting to know my kids on a one-on-one basis, he was able to... Read more...
“Both of my sons have been guided by KD College Prep counselor Steve Peifer on their journey to finding the right college for them, and we could not have had a better experience and outcome. My oldest son is now a... Read more...
Julio M. – Parent
“My daughter loved the program—the program materials and the teachers both online and in person. She participated in a year of online and a year of in person. It was incredible enrichment and helped her keep her skills sharp over the summer. She liked being challenged academically, and she loved taking classes with high school students who were focused on their college goals. These students were also excellent role models! The lessons were especially important during the pandemic when it wasn’t a typical middle school experience.”
“My daughter loved the program—the program materials and the teachers both online and in person. She participated in a year of online and a year of in person. It was incredible enrichment and helped her keep her skills sharp over the... Read more...
Beth L. – Advanced Start™ Parent
“I wanted to say thank you to all of the teachers and directors at KD for helping me get a great score on the SAT ® test. I started with a 1250 on the first KD test I took, and I got a 1530 on the December 5th SAT test. KD played a huge role in this, and I just wanted to say thanks to everyone there for helping me achieve this.”
“I wanted to say thank you to all of the teachers and directors at KD for helping me get a great score on the SAT ® test. I started with a 1250 on the first KD test I took, and I got... Read more...
Vyom S. – Class of 2022
"Our twin 16-year-old boys used KD College Prep to study/practice for the PSAT test, and we believe the classes and coaching were invaluable. Very professional and concise. Worth every penny!"
Jerry – Sons, Class of 2022
“I'm writing to thank the KD team for all the help and guidance over the last couple of years! All the resources provided were very useful to me and helped me achieve the scores I was aiming for on the PSAT, SAT ® , and ACT ® tests (1520, 1580, and 34). I really appreciate everyone's willingness to be flexible and accommodate my requests!”
“I'm writing to thank the KD team for all the help and guidance over the last couple of years! All the resources provided were very useful to me and helped me achieve the scores I was aiming for on the PSAT,... Read more...
Mithra A. – Class of 2022
"The resources that KD offers have greatly prepared me for the college admissions process. Without KD, I would not have been this prepared and confident... I am a rising senior, and I ended up receiving a 1570 on my SAT ® test (third time) and a 35 on my ACT® test (first time). I remember the first ever practice test I took for the SAT test was a 1230 (about 1.5 yrs ago) and the first ever practice test I took for the ACT test was a 31 or 32 (about 6 months ago)."
"The resources that KD offers have greatly prepared me for the college admissions process. Without KD, I would not have been this prepared and confident... I am a rising senior, and I ended up receiving a 1570 on my SAT ® test... Read more...
Elise P. – Class of 2022
“I want to thank KD College Prep for helping both of my kids over the last years reach successful outcomes on their SAT ® and ACT ® scores, which helped them get into great colleges. I found the college prep class for parents very informative and helpful during the process as well. My son (Jacob) graduated in 2018 and got a 32 on the ACT test. got accepted into Texas A&M but chose Baylor for Health Sciences. My daughter (Morgan) graduated in 2020 and got a 1450 on the SAT test and a 32 on the ACT test. got into an Ivy League school (Cornell) for Engineering. Both my kids say that they apply the test taking skills they learned at KD Prep to... Read more...
“I want to thank KD College Prep for helping both of my kids over the last years reach successful outcomes on their SAT ® and ACT ® scores, which helped them get into great colleges. I found the college prep class for parents... Read more...
Jon D. – Parent
“Coming into this whole process, I had absolutely no idea what anything was, and your help was invaluable—your encouraging words, strategic advice, and wholesome stories and jokes really got me through a stressful time! I'm still on the waitlist at Harvard and other schools, but I've really started to immerse into the Emory culture, especially their debate team. Not having to pay for college and still attend a private institution is really a dream come true, and it wouldn't be possible if it were not for you.”
“Coming into this whole process, I had absolutely no idea what anything was, and your help was invaluable—your encouraging words, strategic advice, and wholesome stories and jokes really got me through a stressful time! I'm still on the waitlist at Harvard... Read more...
Shreyas R. – Class of 2020
“The most beneficial guidance I received during my College Counseling experience was being taught that it's completely ok to not know what I want to do with the rest of my life at 17/18 years old. Steve told me that a good school will help me find my path. Also, Steve's knowledge about what colleges were wanting to see in potential admissions candidates was a huge help... “There was not one specific beneficial moment or turning point in my time working with Steve, there were many. He encouraged me during the entire application process and brought to my attention many colleges I wouldn't have considered or heard about without his help.”
“The most beneficial guidance I received during my College Counseling experience was being taught that it's completely ok to not know what I want to do with the rest of my life at 17/18 years old. Steve told me that a... Read more...
Jake W. – Class of 2020
"I'm very happy my daughter chose KD as her learning partner to achieve her goals. All the experiences with KD and the Directors there are fabulous. My daughter has improved significantly."
Zarni, Daughter – Class of 2021
"I took KD classes the summer before my junior year, and I was finished with my SAT ® test by December...The test prep classes also helped me earn the award of National Merit ® Finalist."
Claire I. – Class of 2020
"It's been super helpful, and I've noticed my scores go up both on my SAT ® /ACT ® scores as well as test scores in school... Overall, I believe this to be the best college prep that money can buy."
Gopi C. – Class of 2021
"KD helped me come up with a game plan for the colleges I wanted to attend, as well as any backups, and how to manage my time during this stressful period. They helped to ease the stress and made sure that I would be successful in whichever college I picked, and I am eternally grateful for all their help and hard work!"
"KD helped me come up with a game plan for the colleges I wanted to attend, as well as any backups, and how to manage my time during this stressful period. They helped to ease the stress and made... Read more...
Omar S. – Class of 2020
"My initial goals when I first started working with the KD Counseling crew was to compile a list of colleges that I would be somewhat interested in attending and fit my career goals. I think that this step I was by far the most concerned about. I didn’t know how exactly I should go about choosing which places to apply to and if I were to be accepted, if they would fit me. The team did a wonderful job considering my likes and dislikes and helped me compile a list of colleges that suited my tastes and would further my academic career. "After this integral first step, my focus turned towards time management and writing quality essays that would stand out to colleges. I got... Read more...
"My initial goals when I first started working with the KD Counseling crew was to compile a list of colleges that I would be somewhat interested in attending and fit my career goals. I think that this step I was by... Read more...
Nina H. – Class of 2020
"I was thankful for all the help I received from KD in preparing for my SAT ® and ACT ® exams. The workshops they offered, as well as the practice exams, gave me the tools I needed to do my very best."
Morgan D. – Class of 2020
"KDCP is a must for students wanting to stay a step ahead of the game for getting into college. My son has gained huge insight from the ACT ® /SAT ® practice workshops, practice tests, and essay class."
Tiffany – Son, Class of 2021
"KD helped to increase the efficiencies of how I took the national exams. I was also able to implement these efficiencies in my daily school studies within the IB program at PESH. I would (and have) recommend KD to those students wanting an edge on their national test scores!"
"KD helped to increase the efficiencies of how I took the national exams. I was also able to implement these efficiencies in my daily school studies within the IB program at PESH. I would (and have) recommend KD to those students... Read more...
Daniel J. – Class of 2020
"Not only have I been able to significantly improve my test scores, I have learned a tremendous amount of information about the college application process due to complimentary events that KD offers."
Sam H. – Class of 2020
"I came to KD the summer before my senior year with only my determination and big goals! KD provided me with the resources necessary to improve my test score to increase my chances at my dream school, Notre Dame, with the help from amazing teachers and staff. I am so grateful for KD!"
"I came to KD the summer before my senior year with only my determination and big goals! KD provided me with the resources necessary to improve my test score to increase my chances at my dream school, Notre Dame, with the... Read more...
Matt K. – Class of 2020
"I started classes at KD the summer before 9th grade. I...made a perfect score on the PSAT (earning the National Merit ® scholarship) and, after taking the SAT ® test only once (a relief!), scored a 1590/1600."
Thomas D. – Class of 2019
"In just one year, I was able to raise my score by 300 points and get into my dream school."
Piper F. – Class of 2020
"Having our recent GHS graduate attend KD was life changing. It provided our son with choices and opportunities that he might not have had otherwise."
Kathy – Son attends Mizzou
“I came to KD College Prep after already using another tutoring service which we were not seeing results with. Due to time constraints, the traditional classes were not going to be feasible for my daughter. They took the time to figure out a personal plan that would work for her and were always available for our questions and helping her reach her goals. Every employee from the managers to the students working at their locations are top notch.”
“I came to KD College Prep after already using another tutoring service which we were not seeing results with. Due to time constraints, the traditional classes were not going to be feasible for my daughter. They took the time to figure... Read more...
Tracy – Daughter, Class of 2020
"The KD College Prep course not only provided test practice but also motivated her to work hard for her college applications. It gave her the confidence to dream big!"
Prema – Daughter attends Rice
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8 Most Common College Application Mistakes to Avoid
You’ve made it this far. Your high school years are coming to an end, and college is right around the corner.
Before you submit your college application(s), though, there are a few “red flags” you should be aware of. Red flags are the issues and mistakes, both big and small, that may cause college admissions officers to put an asterisk next to your application or, in some cases, mark it with the big, red “declined” stamp.
Of course, the first step to fixing red flags is understanding what they are. So, we at The University Network (TUN) did some digging and reached out to a couple of college admissions experts.
Here are eight most common mistakes that you should avoid in your college application.
Throughout high school, you’re going to have some fluctuation in your grades — nearly every student does. While dropping from an A to a B grade average one quarter likely won’t kill your chances of being admitted to most institutions, significant dips in your grades can be a big problem.
“A weak or inconsistent academic record is really a big flag,” says Judith Burke-Berhannan, dean of admissions at Stony Brook University.
“When we see those types of things, and if we don’t have supporting documentation regarding possibly any extenuating or personal circumstances that might impact a student’s performance, then our concern is: ‘Is the student well motivated? Is the student focused? How much are they committed to their own academic success?’ ” she explains.
Hindsight is 20/20. If you’re a high school senior, any grade dips you may have had are already cemented in your transcript. Although there’s no changing the past, most college applications, including the Common App , have additional information sections that give you several hundred words worth of space to add any context you want to your application.
Use this space to explain the cause of your academic slippage.
Maybe a relative passed away during your junior year of high school and the grieving process took a toll on you. Maybe you were sick and had to miss an extended amount of school. Or, maybe your family was going through a tough time financially, and you had to pick up an after-school job that limited the amount of time you could spend on homework or studying.
“For students, being as transparent as they can be when they’ve encountered something that’s been a gridlock or hurdle for them along the way, it allows the admissions office to put a face to why those grades went a direction they went versus us just having to make an assumption that they didn’t study as hard,” says Marcus Cooper, senior program director with College Advising Corps at Texas A&M University.
Never lie on your application, though. If there’s no justified cause for your poor grades one term, admit that you made a mistake. If your grades have since risen since they dipped, you’ve clearly learned something and grown. So, take time to explain what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown on your application. Admissions officers may consider this to be a sign of determination and ambition.
“College admissions officers are always looking for reasons to admit a student rather than reasons not to offer admittance,” says Burke-Berhannan.
Applications are carefully designed so that admissions officers can gain a well-rounded understanding of each applicant. If you brush over a section, leaving it blank or with minimal information, there’s a good chance you’ll be brushed over too.
Particularly if you feel you’re on the border of being accepted, you should view the application as a way to sell yourself to the institution, Cooper explains. You want to show the institution that you’re serious and passionate about attending and that you’re doing everything you can to advocate for yourself.
When filling out the activities and/or resume section of your application, don’t sell yourself short. If you play high school football, for example, and have to routinely travel hours away for road games, don’t only give yourself credit for the two or so hours that it takes to play the game on Friday night, Cooper explains.
And when you’re describing your extracurricular activities, don’t hesitate to add a bit of detail. If you volunteer at an animal shelter, for example, don’t leave it at that. Instead, look for areas in the application to describe your impact. Try to fit in information about what you do as a volunteer, how long you’ve volunteered, and what motivates you to volunteer, for example.
Of course, in some cases, brushing over a section may not be intentional. You could just completely miss a section, forgetting to fill it out. That’s one of the reasons why it’s extremely important to go back and triple-check that you’ve filled out the application in its entirety.
Not following directions
Every year, there are applicants who opt to fill out applications their own way, rather than following the format of the application, Cooper explains.
While being unique and thinking outside the box can be a good way to stand out from a crowded pool of applicants, make sure you do so within the confines of the application directions.
When writing the essay portion, for example, try to stay around the suggested word limit. And don’t send a resume of your extracurricular activities to an institution when there is enough space to explain your extracurricular activities in the format of the application, explains Cooper.
If you must send extra, outside documents, such as additional resumes or letters of recommendation, to the college or university you are applying to, make sure you use your full name and that every document follows a similar format so that it can be sequenced to you, Cooper adds. You don’t want to lose information that is important to your candidacy.
Exaggerations about extracurriculars
Most often, students are too modest in terms of explaining the impact extracurricular activities have had on their lives. But, from time-to-time, applicants will exaggerate about their extracurriculars. Don’t be one of these applicants.
It’s always best to be honest.
College admissions officers have networks, with friends and family members in all types of professions and communities. Particularly if you’re applying to an institution in your state, you don’t want to run the risk of exaggerating the amount of hours you worked at that local nonprofit or years you played on the soccer team, for example. While tall tales may not completely disqualify you from consideration for admission, they will leave a bad taste in the mouth of the admissions officers who are reviewing your application.
Overlooking the personal statement or essay
While personal statements or essays may not carry nearly as much weight as your GPA or curriculum choices,you should never overlook the college essay, as that may flag a lack of effort and interest.
Colleges ask you to write a personal statement because they want to get a better sense of who you are, not only as a student, but also as a person. They want to know about your passions and interests, the way you think, and how you respond to challenges.
Particularly for competitive institutions, personal statements or essays provide an opportunity to set yourself apart from the crowd of equally qualified candidates. So when you look back at your application, make sure you’re comfortable with your essay and proud of the time and effort you put into it. If you aren’t, it may be best to set your application aside for the day and come back to it tomorrow with the intention of editing or, in some cases, redrafting your essay.
For tips on how to write a compelling personal statement or essay, click here .
You want your college application to be uniform and fully represent you as a person, from your academic strengths and weaknesses to the sports or clubs you’re involved with.
Most of the time, making sure your application is consistent is as simple as diligently looking back over the application. If your essay is about your experience climbing the ranks of the quiz bowl team, for example, make sure you included that you were a member of the quiz bowl team in the activities section of your application.
There are, however, additional inconsistencies that are a bit harder to address. Say, for example, that you had all As in your math classes throughout high school but only scored a 450 on the math section of your SAT.
Most of the time, situations like this don’t need any explaining, as there are all types of reasons an inconsistency like that could occur. But if you feel compelled to explain yourself, the additional information section of your application would be a good place to do so.
Unusual curriculum changes
Although policies vary, admissions departments typically want to see that applicants progressed in terms of the difficulty of their coursework throughout high school. Generally, that means if an applicant took advanced classes, such as honors or APs, early on in high school, admissions officers want to see that the applicant continued taking advanced classes until graduation.
This rule, however, should be taken with a grain of salt. Admissions departments like applicants that have challenged themselves, but they also understand that students’ schedules don’t always fall exactly how they want them to.
“Often, students have to make scheduling choices based around the constraints around what their high school is offering and what time it is being offered, making choices between taking one class versus another,” says Burke-Berhannan. “Often, there are reasons that a student might not opt to continue with an AP course or a specific track.”
So, for example, if you took three AP classes your sophomore year and, due to schedule limitations or another conflict, you only took one AP your junior year, you should find a space in the application to explain the reasons why. In the Common App, the appropriate place to explain would be in the “additional information” section.
And if you stopped taking advanced classes at some point in high school because your GPA was suffering, don’t second-guess yourself for that decision. While admissions officers like to see advanced courses on an applicant’s transcript, they don’t want to see those classes coupled with poor grades.
“We don’t want to see a student persisting with AP courses if they’re getting Cs and C-s,” says Burke-Berhannan. “If they’re consistently performing at an average or below average level, then potentially the choice of APs or the number of AP courses they’re taking needs to be considered and adjusted.”
Typos and grammatical errors
A couple of typos and grammatical errors in your college application typically aren’t that big of a deal. Admissions officers understand that fingers slip on the keyboard and that autocorrect can, at times, work against you.
But if typos and grammatical errors are persistent throughout the application, particularly in the essay section, it is not a good look. It shows admissions officers that you don’t care about the application enough to look back over it or ask a parent or friend to review it.
Red flags come in many shapes and sizes. They can be as insignificant as a typo or as eye-popping as an F grade on your transcript.
Having a red flag on your application is not a huge problem, as nearly everyone has a few. Leaving those red flags unaddressed, however, is how you can run into trouble.
You can help your chances of admission by checking back over your application to correct the little mistakes. And for the big red flags, make sure you take the time to provide honest and clear explanations on the application.
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Admit-a-bull // official admissions blog, don't make these common college application mistakes.
By Daniel Goodson | Last Updated: Jul 21, 2022
Throughout your high school career, you’ve poured yourself into your classes, built a strong portfolio of accomplishments, and dedicated countless hours preparing for a great SAT or ACT score. The college application represents the last step in your path to college. Now that you’re so close, don’t fall victim to any of the common college application mistakes that can trip you up at the finish line.
Find out which application errors get noticed by admissions teams. Even seemingly minor, innocuous oversights can present a major threat to your chances of acceptance. From the application itself to external factors, discover how you can avoid the most common mistakes that can derail your college plans.
Applying Exclusively to Colleges Outside Your Reach
Institutions prominently feature the average test scores and GPA of their accepted students for a good reason: They want to clearly state who has the best chance of acceptance. They don’t want anyone who falls well below their average student profile to waste time and money applying, and they certainly don’t want to go to the effort of evaluating students who are unlikely to find success at their institution.
Can students who academically fall below the standard range of applicants still get in? Sure, it happens. But it’s generally a special circumstance:
- Exceptional SAT/ACT score that offsets low GPA
- Exceptional GPA that offsets low SAT/ACT scores
- Students who faced a life-changing event or major hurdles
Any of those circumstances apply to you? If you’re still dead set on attending a school that falls into the “reach” category, explain your circumstances to the admissions office in your application. Just don’t forget to apply to other colleges that are a better academic match to give yourself the best chance of acceptance somewhere else.
Displaying an Unfamiliarity With the College
Nothing turns off application evaluators like a student who clearly lacks a familiarity with their college and the application requirements. As well as failing to meet the minimum GPA and test scores, these students may exhibit a fundamental misunderstanding of many important aspects of the institution:
- Majors and concentrations available
- Student events, activities, and resources
- Surrounding community and regional culture
- Institutional interest, affiliation, or founding focus
Before offering you a spot in their class, colleges want to know you’ll be successful there. Displaying a basic unfamiliarity with their institution significantly decreases the likelihood that you’ll flourish as a student there
Submitting a Late Application
In the college admissions arena, timing is crucial. Obviously, submitting an application after the published deadline will usually get yours shuffled into the reject pile. With the exception of highly irregular circumstances, such as a global pandemic, institutions typically stick to their published deadlines.
But submitting your application just before the deadline could seriously hurt your chances of acceptance, too. Particularly for institutions with rolling admissions , applying as early as possible can give you a big leg up. These schools evaluate qualified students as they receive their applications, which means you have a greater chance to earn one of the open seats early on. As those seats fill up, your chance of acceptance dwindles.
Failing to Show Initiative and Ambition
Institutions don’t just want to see your academic abilities. They want to admit well-rounded students who possess a sense of purpose and drive. To find those students, admissions offices look for a strong list of extracurriculars :
- Student organizations and clubs
- Music and/or arts involvement
Remember, colleges want to see that you exhibit maturity and commitment. A 20-item list of extracurriculars won’t do you any good if you only stuck with each one for a week. Instead, aim for a handful of commitments that you kept all four years of high school.
Didn’t have time to participate in extracurriculars due to financial or family circumstances? Make sure to note this on your application. A strong work history could also count as a justifiable extracurricular, particularly if it was for the same employer over the course of several years.
Forgetting to Submit All Required Documents
Filling out a college application is one thing. Providing all the forms and required documents is an entirely different matter, and students often forget this important step. In many cases, completing the actual application is easier than gathering the required documents:
- Standardized test scores
- Official transcripts
- Immunization records
- Proof of residency
- Proof of language ability (international students)
In addition, you must submit the FAFSA to be considered for federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs. Failing to complete the FAFSA by the deadline could significantly shrink your pool of available aid.
Exhibiting Maturity Red Flags
Attending college is your first big stepping stone toward adulthood. With all the newfound independence, colleges pay close attention to your level of maturity as an applicant. Even if you have an incredible academic record in high school, you may struggle without the structure and stability of living at home.
This lack of maturity may take the form of excessive parental involvement. Colleges want to know that you possess the drive to succeed on your own because mom and dad won’t be following you to campus or reminding you to study. If a parent or guardian is too involved in the application process, admission offices may have doubts. You should act as the primary point of contact with the admissions office and complete the bulk of the application on your own.
Another surefire way to sabotage your application is questionable online material. If you have public social media accounts , review your posts before college admission offices do. Profane, illegal, and vulgar posts can seriously hurt your chances of acceptance. In some cases, offers of admission have been rescinded due to controversial content. Colleges simply don’t want to take chances on students who might be an embarrassment to their institution.
Finishing Your Senior Year With a Whimper
Colleges want to see your final high school transcript to ensure that you took your grades seriously up until the very end of your senior year. Submitting an application with a significant drop in academic performance during the last few months of school signals that you’re not ready to step into a college classroom.
Colleges often base admissions decisions on patterns of behavior. A student who begins celebrating graduation early by neglecting senior year just doesn’t exhibit the dedication needed to meet the challenges of college-level courses. In addition to sinking grades, “senioritis” may be characterized by unusual amounts of tardiness, lots of absences, disengagement with previous clubs and organizations, and an excessively easy class schedule that requires minimal effort. Any of these behaviors presents a warning sign to colleges, which look for dedicated students who will enter their freshman year with the momentum of a strong senior-year performance.
Treating Your Acceptance Like a Matter of Life and Death
- Your family has a three-generation history of attending.
- You’re a diehard fan of the college’s athletic programs.
- Your best friend or significant other is attending.
There are countless reasons why you may have your heart set on a particular school, but it’s important to keep everything in perspective. You’re attending college to get a great education that leads to a rewarding career. Sure, it’s easy to get sucked into the lore and tradition of a certain institution, but you don’t need that extra pressure. Give yourself other options.
When your college prospects look bad, remind yourself that you can have an incredible experience at many other institutions. Find the school that fits your specific situation, not some dream you’ve been building in your mind.
Remember that transferring is also an option after completing a year or two elsewhere. Whether you follow a formal transfer program the university offers, like USF’s FUSE program , or you just knock out a few semesters at a local college, this is a more realistic path to acceptance than just hoping for the best.
Ignoring Help When You Need It
The college admissions process can be long, confusing, and frustrating. It demands a lot of your time and effort, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. When that happens, don’t ignore your struggles. Get help.
Colleges and universities all have admissions professionals who are ready and willing to give you a hand. They were hired to support students just like you who are struggling to gather documents, access the right forms, and complete all the confusing application requirements. Seeking their support in no way reflects poorly on you, but refusing help when you need it can. If you’re preparing to apply to USF and have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Office of Admissions . Our experienced team can clear up any confusion and help you submit your best possible application.
Use Our Checklist as a Quick Reference
We covered a lot of information here. If you need a quick reference guide for later, download our College Application Checklist. It provides a streamlined reminder of the most common college application mistakes that hurt your chances of acceptance.
About Daniel Goodson
Daniel Goodson is a former Content Developer for USF’s Office of Innovative Education. He enjoys helping students and their families streamline the college application process by sharing new trends that impact outreach, applying, and admissions.
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Common College Application Mistakes (27 minutes)
Nov 4, 2022 | Applications & Interviews , College Admissions , Financial Aid & Scholarships , Videos | 0 comments
Avoid Common College Application Mistakes
The overall average freshman acceptance rate is 66%, according to the 2019 National Association for College Admission Counselors (NACAC) report. Nearly 80% of schools accept more than half of freshman applicants, with over half of schools admitting 2/3 of applicants. And 77% of applicants were accepted into their top-choice school. You can do this, especially if you avoid these common mistakes on the Common App!
Avoid these common mistakes on the Common App or direct applications to specific colleges!
You may also be interested in: Overrated Application Factors 12 Myths about College Applications What Is the Common App? Should You Apply Early Decision or Early Action? How Many Colleges Should You Apply to?
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The Biggest Mistakes We’ve Seen on College Admissions Essays
Your admissions essay is an important part of the college process. Don’t disregard it as unnecessary. While it’s weight may vary based on the candidate, school, program, and other factors, your college essay always plays an important role in the admissions process.
Your essay should demonstrate your personality and voice. Yet time and time again, students make the same mistakes. We come across these repeat errors in CollegeVine’s essay coaching often. Here are six mistakes you should avoid when crafting your essay.
1. Repeating the prompt in your essay
Some teachers may have told you to repeat the essay prompt in essays for middle or high school. However, this is not a good approach for college essays, because they should stand alone as pieces of writing.
Instead of repeating a prompt from the Common App or the college in question, try developing a “hook”—a statement that draws the reader in—to capture your audience. For advice on crafting one, read How to Get the Perfect Hook for Your College Essay .
2. Coming across as phony or manufactured
When it comes to your college essay, stay away from a thesaurus. You shouldn’t use language you wouldn’t typically use because you’ll come across as phony. (Of course, don’t be overly informal!) For example, try to avoid using overly formal or complex language. (Why say “My behavior seemed incongruous to my family” when you could say “My behavior seemed out of character to my family”?)
Find a way to demonstrate your experiences in a unique way. For ideas, check out How to Develop a Personalized Metaphor for Your Applications and Where to Begin: 3 Personal Essay Brainstorming Exercises .
3. Not proofreading
Grammar mistakes are easy to catch if you do the work, so not double checking will come off as lazy. Read your essay several times. Try reading it aloud to catch errors. Here are some editing tips to help you through the process.
It’s also a good idea to get another set of eyes on your essay. Read Whom Should I Ask for Help with My College Essays? for advice the best people to consult.
4. Using cliches
Cliches are a no-no both in terms of choosing your topic and writing the essay itself. Common writing cliches include phrases such as “the next thing I knew,” “all that glitters is not gold,” “just a matter of time,” “every cloud has a silver lining,” “time heals all wounds,” and many, many others.
Your topic should represent you and your uniqueness —not something adcoms have seen a thousand times.
For example, sports metaphors—relating your life to an experience on the field or sports in general—often comes across as trite. Pet death is another all-too-common subject that can make adcoms wonder if you’re fishing for tragedies—or just haven’t had many meaningful experiences. If you do choose a topic along these lines, make sure you have a unique spin on it.
Volunteer or mission trips can also be an overused topic. These essays tend to be more about the experience than you and may convey that money buys opportunities. You don’t want to come across as too privileged or spoiled, so again, unless you have a unique angle, it’s best to stay away from this topic.
Never, never, never copy someone else’s work. Don’t ask or pay someone else to write your essay or parts of it for you. Colleges will likely find out—some even run plagiarism checks—and will reject you or revoke your admission if you’ve already been accepted. And, of course, it’s ethically wrong to plagiarize.
6. Rehashing your resume
You’ll have plenty of other room on your college app to list your extracurriculars, accomplishments, and awards. While it’s okay to mention an accomplishment that’s related to the subject of your essay—for instance, if you’re writing about a particular belief, you might describe an activity that allows you to express it—it shouldn’t be the whole subject of your essay.
Instead, use this as a space to demonstrate your personality and what makes you you. Check out 8 Dos and Don’ts for Crafting Your College Essay for tips.
Writing Your College Essay: The Bottom Line
When it comes down to it, your college essay is about you and your experiences. Your uniqueness should come across. Avoid these six mistakes, and you should be golden!
Want help with your college essays to improve your admissions chances? Sign up for your free CollegeVine account and get access to our essay guides and courses. You can also get your essay peer-reviewed and improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays.
Related CollegeVine Blog Posts
What happens if I make a mistake on a college application?
Even if you're meticulous when completing your college application, there's a chance that you'll make a mistake. You may leave out something, fail to follow instructions, or do something incorrectly. If you realize you've made a mistake, don't panic. College admissions officers aren’t going to nitpick over a minor error, but several errors may show you in a bad light. If you have significant errors or omissions, reach out to the admissions office of the college you applied to.
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5 common mistakes to avoid when applying for a study visa.
Applying for a study visa can be an exciting but daunting process, especially when you’re planning to pursue your education abroad. To ensure a smooth and successful application, it’s crucial to avoid common mistakes that can lead to delays or even visa rejections. In this blog, we’ll discuss five common mistakes students make when applying for a study visa and how the best education consultants in Pakistan can help you navigate this complex journey. Along the way, we’ll also sprinkle in some fun facts and useful tips to make your study visa application journey more enjoyable and informative.
Fun Fact: Did you know that there are over 18,000 universities in the world, offering a wide range of courses?
One of the most common mistakes students make is not conducting enough research before applying for a study visa. It’s essential to thoroughly research universities, courses, and countries to find the best fit for your educational and career goals. Your education consultant can provide valuable insights into which universities align with your aspirations and guide you through this process.
Useful Tip: Make a checklist of your preferred universities and their requirements to stay organized during your application journey.
Fun Fact: Some countries require biometric data, such as fingerprints and photographs, as part of the visa application process.
Incomplete documentation can lead to visa delays or rejections. Missing even a single document can jeopardize your application. Education consultants can assist you in gathering and organizing all necessary paperwork, such as transcripts, recommendation letters, and financial statements, ensuring a comprehensive and error-free application.
Useful Tip: Start collecting your documents well in advance to avoid last-minute stress.
Ignoring Visa Regulations
Fun Fact: Visa regulations can vary significantly from one country to another, and they can change frequently.
Many students make the mistake of not thoroughly understanding the visa regulations of the country they wish to study in. These regulations can include financial requirements, language proficiency exams, and health insurance. Education consultants are well-versed in these regulations and can guide you through the process, ensuring you meet all the requirements.
Useful Tip: Stay updated with the latest visa regulations by regularly checking the official embassy or consulate websites.
Fun Fact: The average processing time for a study visa application can range from a few weeks to several months, depending on the country and time of year.
Procrastination is a common pitfall when applying for a study visa. Waiting until the last minute can lead to unnecessary stress and complications. Your education consultant can help you create a timeline for your application, ensuring you meet all deadlines and submit a well-prepared application.
Useful Tip: Set personal deadlines well in advance of official deadlines to give yourself ample time for revisions and adjustments.
Lack of Financial Planning
Fun Fact: Some universities offer scholarships and financial aid to international students, so explore these options to ease your financial burden.
Financial planning is a crucial aspect of your study visa application. Many students underestimate the cost of studying abroad and fail to demonstrate sufficient funds in their visa application. Education consultants can help you explore scholarships, grants, and part-time job opportunities to support your education financially.
Useful Tip: Create a detailed budget that includes tuition fees, living expenses, and emergency funds to ensure a smooth financial journey.
Applying for a study visa can be a life-changing experience, and avoiding common mistakes is key to a successful application process. The best education consultants in Pakistan like SBS Education Consultants are your allies in this journey, offering guidance, expertise, and support. Remember to conduct thorough research, gather complete documentation, understand visa regulations, avoid procrastination, and plan your finances wisely. By doing so, you’ll increase your chances of obtaining that coveted study visa and embarking on your educational adventure abroad with confidence. Good luck!
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