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Blog: College Advising: Common Application Mistakes, Part 1

Avid the common mistakes in college applications.



    In this exciting College Application Season, we’d like to remind our readers of the most common mistakes we’ve seen on college applications of all kinds:  the Common Application, The University of California Application, and in-house college applications.

1. Why This School?  One of the most common questions a college might ask is:  Why do you want to attend this school, Perfect U?  In order to answer this question completely, do your research.  Go to the school’s website and look up the kinds of courses they are offering.  We love it when students research professors or call the school to find out what recent graduates are doing now.  Don’t ruin your chances by mentioning location and architecture as your best reasons for applying.  Go deeper.
2. Forgetting Deadlines:  We create a calendar of important dates for each of our students.  Do the same for yourself.  Consider the dates on your calendar as the day that your cruise ship sails-- think way ahead.  With many colleges, your chances are greatly improved by sending your application in a week or two early.  One day late, and your ship sails without you.
3. Lacking Passion: We love to see essays that reflect a student’s desire to reach beyond his/her personal goals. If you find you don’t have the passion it takes to get this job done, nourish yourself by listening to music, visiting an art museum, or even reading the opinion page in the newspaper. Seek out what you care about.  The energy you feel will make you so much more appealing as you reveal those passions in your writing.
4. Forgetting to Pay:  Your application is never complete until you finish with a payment or a receipt (except in cases where no payment is necessary.) Always print out your completed application and receipt so that you are sure you’re done.  It’s also wise to follow your submitted application with a phone call to the school, just to double check that everything was received. You’ll rest easy, knowing.

All the best from PerfectFitCollege.Net

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Justanotheropinion November 11, 2012 at 06:50 AM
Your college application tips are great. The college app process not so much. Second time I've been thru this and it gets more ridiculous each time. Nice that so many schools accept the Common App, but the supplements they then require are over the top. Many require the same info from the Common App again (so you really don't gain anything by having to do the common app) and their supplemental requirements -mainly the essays-leave a lot to be desired. For example: one essay topic - 'Define X'. Another, 'Where is Waldo'? Sorry, but when a kid has busted their hump for 4 years to get good grades and does well or not on the SAT or ACT, I fail to see how finding Waldo is pertinent to the college admission process. At least some colleges just ask for the basic info: name, home info, transcripts, test scores & sometimes recommendations. And for this, many charge over $40k a year. Smells like a sham. So happy this is the last one.....
Patti Brugman December 09, 2012 at 04:38 AM
Dear Tracey: Thank you for your response and comments. Yes, the Where's Waldo? prompt is one of the many choices on the University of Chicago supplement. I know it sounds goofy, but many students prefer a silly question. It frees up their imaginations and appeals to their younger selves who really did spend hours searching for Waldo! To some, it is a metaphor for an existential quest, meant to be meaningless and yet full of meaning-- which is how students feel about applying to such prestigious universities like the University of Chicago. Students who pick that question are saying a lot about themselves. If we can be of any help, please call or write.

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