Application, essay & interview mistakes to avoid

September 16, 2008

Here are three tips for hopeful college students filling out college applications, essays and college interviews.

1. Not being prepared. Know the deadlines (earlier is better) know what the school wants and the timeline. Does the school require an essay, letters of recommendation?  Don’t wait until the last minute. Don’t procrastinate.

Get your college applications in early. Especially if you are applying to a popular school like UCLA. UCLA last year received some 42 thousand applications. Get your application early so that yours wont be number 41,312. Get it in early when the acceptance office is not in frantic panic mode.
ASU Priority application deadline is Feb 01
Preferential deadline is December 1
If the seats are filled up early, you wont be admited

2. “Being yourself”. It is important to be truthful however try putting your BEST self forward. Put your best foot forward. Tell them what moves you what inspires you. And it is okay to toot your own horn.
In this competitive admissions climate many students are tempted to "fudge the facts" just a little bit on their applications. DON'T DO IT. Colleges are beginning to check applicant's credentials. It leaked a few years ago that MIT had hired a private investigator to do random checks on applicants, and other schools have joined this practice.

3. Showing that you dont care or have an earnest desire to learn. Have an intellectual passion.  Share areas you feel enthusiastic about, show and demonstrate your special expertise, show that you have an open and curious mind. No school is going to accept a student who is not willing to learn.

Ideally as a Freshman or Sophomore in High School you would start researching colleges, then over the course of your Junior year in High School your student would narrow down that list to the schools he/she will actually apply to, collect brochures, review the college website, watch videos about the school and actually visit the college campus. Now as a High School Senior collect the applications in August/September. Follow the individual schools guidelines and deadlines.

Schools begin posting their applications by August each year.

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