College Admission Tips

Abby Bradley, Web Editor

The due date for college applications is approaching sooner than you might think. Applications for regular decision are due between January and February 1 depending on the college. If you want to apply early, applications are due November 1. Early decision is different than early action. For both, you should have your application in by the November 1st deadline but early decision tells the college that you will definitely be attending that school if you are accepted. Early action just allows you to know if the college has accepted you at an earlier date. Do not apply for early decision if you are not 100% set on going to that school.  Here are some tips to help you turn in the best application as possible. 

The writing portion of your application is extremely important. Everything you write should be proofread and well thought out. The following tips were provided by Mindy Patnoude (English).

-Implicitly portray the meaning of your essay. Make your story clearly express your meaning. Don’t tell the audience how you are feeling or others’ personality traits, show them by actions or other descriptions.

-Only have one or two people revise your essay, so your voice will not fade out. Use vivid verbs and specific nouns.

-Put your reader into a movie or a picture. Try starting in the middle of the action of the story.

-Make the story come full circle. Connect the end of the story to the beginning. Don’t straight up tell the audience what your meaning is or what you learned.

-Use dialogue between characters and internal dialogue. 

-Avoid using the word “said”. Use stronger tags. 

-Make sure that you proofread everything that you write. Pay attention to capitalization. All places in your application that require writing are important. 

Your counselors are always here to help you. During flex on October 10, 17, and 24, counselors will be available to help you with your application in the guidance office. Being honest in your application is essential. Applications will ask you about any possible detentions, Saturday schools, or any issues with the police that you may have had. 

“If you have some sort of discipline, then just talk to your counselor about how to word it and kind of how to address it,” Cori Akers (counselor) said. 

You also need to be honest about the classes that you take. If you change your schedule after you submit your application to your colleges, then you must inform them.

Most colleges require teacher recommendations. Ideally, you should have two teachers write you a letter. Teacher recommendations are due on November 1 as well, so you should ask your teachers and fill out the brag sheets that were emailed to you as soon as possible.

“The college really wants to know how you are in the classroom,” Akers said. 

The teachers who you had your junior year and liked you are the best option because they will remember how you were in class the best. Teacher recommendation letters are due by Halloween so make sure to ask your teachers as soon as possible because some teachers can take up to four weeks to finish them. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) allows you or your parents want to see what is submitted on your behalf.

“Colleges sometimes prefer if you do waive your [FERPA] right because they know that your recommenders are being completely honest and aren’t like writing nice things just because they don’t want you to be mad at them, but because you are a lovely person,” Akers said. 

Teachers may not be comfortable if they know that you are going to read what they wrote. You can also assign teachers to different colleges, but they can only write one letter each.   Make sure that you write your teachers a thank you note. 

Do not hesitate to ask your counselors for help. Shoot them a quick email or stop by the guidance office at any time. Good luck on your applications! Happy applying!