Not all academic colleges are equal
Most college applicants look back fondly on that fateful summer when, lucky for them, they learned to sort, prioritise, and apply for college.
Of course, the act of filling out the most daunting college application of the year – and then being asked to complete one or two more when they’re admitted – only gets more challenging as we get older.
Graduating seniors who apply for college use social media and online tool kits to increase their chances of acceptance; their high school teachers use college packet drafts to assist them; parent profiles/interviews can make a huge difference to a student’s success. At the end of the day, when the decision is made – when it really matters – the student has to bear the responsibility of making the correct selection, weighing the criteria for admission, and deciding whether to apply to any college at all.
Other universities are doing more, though. If you’re a university administrator, staff, and even a student, you can benefit from a few simple pointers.
No. 1: Don’t just take what’s on their website
To get ahead of the competition, administrators look to sites like this one to screen a new applicant’s work. Universities want to see if the applicant has worked hard enough to get the grades, participated in extracurricular activities, and is successful in career and personal decision-making. Many universities even check to make sure that the student is in good standing with that particular college’s administration.
But the information on these websites is stale, outdated, and considered outdated in most cases. For that reason, an administrator may let an application stand, or pass, before checking what the applicant has submitted. The process can backfire for the applicant, the administrator, and the university, as applicants expect an immediate solution and a response. Colleges have an obligation to respond to their applicants if that response reflects progress made since the application was received, something that doesn’t always happen.
No. 2: Check the word choice
This mistake is often made in general content articles on websites that tend to be posted in the “help” section. These types of website posts aren’t the most efficient way to compile a resume, but they can help a student highlight their achievements, learn new skills, and strengthen their resume through their efforts. The word choice, however, is the most important thing. In fact, this mistake can turn into a major disadvantage. A successful applicant should show the application to be a complete record of their work and achievements.
No. 3: Don’t limit yourself to one tool
Students are entrusting professors, parents, counselors, and even other candidates with their most personal information. In order to be seen as an eligible student, they must present the most complete, accurate, and productive application they can. After all, there’s no way they can know how an application will be interpreted by the right person, so it’s best to create a portfolio of their work. They’ll thank you later – if you do them a favor!
Ultimately, this problem can be fixed by reviewing admission criteria and preparing for the type of university which requires the applicant to submit the documents to the admissions office in the first place. Then, when you’re waiting for the decision, having the application from a trustworthy source or being aware of where certain skills can be learned to increase the likelihood of an acceptance, is what you can take from the college application process.