How to Make Sure Your Application Gets The Attention it Deserves

Even after working in college preparation for 10 years I still read the explanations of others intent on offering a peek behind the curtain of college admissions. Everyone needs to understand that colleges don’t have a rule book dictating how they handle applications but most follow a similar path toward accepting student because it works.
A holistic review of an application brings to mind a group of intellectuals in a comfortable, quiet room considering all the impressive activities, the difficult coursework and the engaging essays of high school seniors. If you have taken note of the numbers of applications being received by the typical college, you will know that it is a race to the finish line when evaluating applications. Seven minutes was the number mentioned by Stephanie Wassink in her article for the typical amount of time dedicated to an application. Imagine an admission officer saying to you, “you have seven minutes to convince me that you should be a student on our campus, go.” What would you say? Well, those are the things you need to put on your application. How would you make sure that you were not misunderstood? That’s something to think about when you are constructing those compound, complex sentences in your essay that span four lines. Would you take advantage of extra time if given the opportunity? That window of opportunity is open for the months and even years for the ambitious students, leading up to application season in the senior year.
The formula is not difficult if you take the time to make plans and follow them. Be brief but clear in your responses, keep it simple and make information easy to find, be sincere and forthcoming with your information. Contact your admissions counselor before the application is submitted (preferably months before) and remain in contact through the time you say yes or no to your acceptance letter.
These are some of the things that have become  necessary evils of the application process. Doing them in addition to maintaining great grades, earning high test scores, demonstrating leadership skills in extracurricular activities, being involved in some volunteering effort and writing an engaging and informative essay is no cake walk. That is why I do what I do. Both student and parent are given an explanation of what needs to be done and why. We lay out a plan and break it into monthly assignments that when entered onto an application in the fall of senior year, will yield an impressive application that is easy on the student as well as the admissions professional.

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