Common Mistakes to Avoid on Your College Applications

Avoid these common mistakes on your college application

Flickr user Denaldo Dillo

There certainly is a lot that goes into an application: a cover letter, grade transcripts, ACT/SAT scores, an essay, letters of recommendation, and so on and so forth. It can be a bit tricky cobbling all of the materials together without a single mistake. We’re here to help you discover common mistakes you want to avoid in your college applications!

Spelling & Grammar Errors

Let’s start off with an easy one. As your fingers fly across the keyboard as you write, it’s easy to get tripped up and type something incorrectly—but it’s incredibly important to proofread your work to weed out any mistakes. College admissions officers will hone in on misspellings or elementary grammar mistakes and it won’t reflect kindly on your chances. Do yourself a favor and proofread before you submit. Better yet, have someone else proofread it too!

Leaving Something Out

If a college requests a certain material in your application, you better make sure you include it. An incomplete application may not even be considered! Or, at the very least, will knock your chances down a few pegs. Luckily there is an easy remedy—go over the list of necessary things to include, and triple-check you have everything.

Last Minute Scramble

We can’t stress this one enough: get a head start on your applications! Don’t stress yourself out by waiting until the last minute to apply; you’ll need time to gather all the materials, bundle them together, polish, and send them off. Applying the day it’s due is not recommended, nor is waiting until a week before to ask your teacher for a letter of recommendation. Applications deserve your time and attention.

Too Generic

We’ve written a lot about how to stand out in a college app, but let’s talk about why you should stand out for a minute. Being too generic in your application will put you at risk of not being remembered. If a prompt asks you why you’re interested in attending college, don’t go with the common ‘It’s a good university, I want to study there, it’s my dream’, go with a genuine, heartfelt answer. Dig deep! Also, don’t be afraid to describe your extracirriculars with a little more passion than just listing them out (especially in an essay) explain why you’ve dedicated yourself to those activities.

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