The All-Important College Application

H.G. Wells once said, “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe,” which emphasized the importance of continued schooling. As the fate and future not only of any great nation – but the world, is dependent on the education of its youth, a far brighter light is cast upon the Free College Consulting process.

It is in the application process, more than anywhere else, that the academic future of any student is determined. There is only one moment in time when the student’s stuff shows up in the admissions office – and it better shine! Negligence in this arena leads to failure, and this cannot and must not be an option in any student’s life.

The first item that is reviewed by admission committees is the student’s transcript. It immediately determines whether or not the student is qualified. Simply put, it either contains qualifying grades and scores or it doesn’t. If not, the rest of the student’s stuff, no matter how carefully prepared or impressive – will be tossed in the waste basket!

If the school uses the Common App and a school specific one, send theirs. If for any reason you cannot create an application in a PDF file format, contact each school and have them send you their application packet. Be careful not to make the all-too-common mistake of trusting that sincere sounding, reassuring admissions person who promises that the application package will be mailed immediately. Leave nothing to chance. Be creative and take steps to ensure that it actually does get mailed quickly. Offer your credit card to pay for a $20.00 overnight or $6.00 second day delivery.

Wherever possible, do not rely on school administrators in the application process, and keep your own thorough and accurate records for all schools applied to. Check your portal on each website at least once a week to see if any information is missing. Do not anticipate and rely on documentation from the schools.

The application is a test in itself, and you don’t want to lose the ballgame before you even get up to bat. Close attention should be given to all questions so that they are answered correctly and properly.

I cannot overstate the importance of following directions! Each application must be submitted letter perfect! Be particularly careful with questions that call for a checkmark for the answer. Do not ever use an ‘X’ as that would be seen as not following instructions, and this is the most common cause of rejection. Never lose sight of the fact that the schools are knee deep in applications from qualified students and are looking for reasons to reject.

Very often a Common App school will ask if, “there’s anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself.” If so, try to submit a resume if the space allows. Also, be careful to check for word or character limits. Some schools will NOT tell you when you’ve gone over the limit, and that’s a sure reason for rejection!

If it’s being mailed, and given that you have carefully prepared the application, have at least two family members review it. Once you are certain it is mistake free, that all answers are consistent, and all instructions have been followed, mail it either overnight or 2nd day with signature guarantee.

 

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