Flickr user Tim Pierce

You know what they say: cheaters never prosper. Now, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t lie on your college application. Colleges can figure that out, and with all the checks in balances in place, you won’t get away with anything.

But stretching the truth? Everyone embellishes their applications, right? Well, maybe you shouldn’t. Here’s why.

Stick to the Facts

It’s a fine line between pride and bragging. Sometimes students are afraid to show off their accomplishments and skills worried they’ll come across as boastful. However there’s an easy trick to keep your app or essay in the right: use facts.

What claims can you back up with facts? If you ran a successful recycling campaign, how much material did your school collect? If you were on a baseball team, how many times did you go to state? If you have verifiable facts, you’re not stretching the truth.

Admissions Officers Can Sniff Out Falsehoods

The people evaluating your applications read dozens a day, go over hundreds a year, thousands over a career. They’re good at what they do, which means they can tell if a parent wrote your essay, or if you’ve stretched the truth to make your application more attractive. In the end, it will only be detrimental to overly embellish yourself.

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