It’s getting to that time of the year when high school seniors will be sending off their college applications. You’re full of excitement and don’t want to miss any steps during the college application process. Filling out your college application can be nerve-wracking but that’s why we put together a list of last-minute college application tips to make sure you get it right the first time.
You most likely already know the basics of filling out the Common Application and writing an outstanding college essay for the application. You have your essay topic and all your academic information, like official test scores, ready to go, but you may feel like you’re missing something. The following five tips will show that you’ve paid extra attention while filling out the application and show your attention to detail when answering the essay prompts or personal statement.
5 Last Minute College Application Tips
1. Proofread the Entire Application
Proofreading your college application is more than rereading it. Read everything aloud at a slow pace to ensure it makes sense and that you’re using the proper tenses throughout the application. Put your answers into a program like Grammarly to double-check that you’ve written everything with correct grammar. It will also spell-check your answers and give you alternative ways to form a sentence too!
2. Ask Someone Else to Read
Send your college application to your trusted professors, friends, and family to read over. They’ll see everything with fresh eyes so it will be easier to catch mistakes throughout the application. Ensure that you send them the prompts you are meant to write about so they can see if you’ve answered them clearly and completely. Ask them their honest opinions on the quality of the essay and the answers to the prompts.
3. Read it from a Different Perspective
When you’re writing your college application essay, you’re (of course) answering the questions and prompts from your perspective. But have you thought about reading it from the point of view of the admissions officers? By changing your perspective, you’ll be able to see if the point you were trying to make is clearly stated. It will also help you establish a better tone throughout your essay. If you didn’t know who you were, what would be your first impression based on the essay and answers? Would you be happy with the impression? Is my topic clear? Did I answer the question fully? These are the types of questions to think about while reading it from a different point of view.
4. Write the Supplemental Essays (if Available)
College applications will have an additional information section for more writing. Sometimes this section is for information that didn’t fit in your college essay but you still wanted to include it to enhance your application. Sometimes this section can be specific to the impacts of COVID-19 in regard to your education and overall life. You can leave this section blank if you feel as if you said everything you wanted to in your essay or if COVID-19 didn’t impact your life at all.
5. Don’t Word Vomit
Being clear and concise is super important in your college application essay. You still want to evoke emotion but “word vomiting”, or using too many filler words, may stray away from the point of your essay. If you can say what you need to say in a few sentences, don’t drag it out and possibly take away from the importance of what you want to say. When you’re rereading your essay, it’ll be easier to tell if you answered the prompt to the fullest extent and to the best of your ability if you don’t have too many filler words.
If you feel like your words are jumbled together on your college application, take a step back and revisit it with a clear mind. Your college application is a college’s first impression of you which is why submitting your best work is important. Though there are no rewards for turning it in before the application deadline, have everything done early so that you can go over it a few times before finally submitting your application.
Are you still looking for colleges to apply to? Check out College Raptor’s college search tool to find the perfect fit for you! And don’t forget to apply for scholarships to receive free money for your education. Use the scholarship money for tuition, books, and other school supplies to save on student loans!