Top 5 Ways To Make Your College Applications Stand Out

Applying to college is extremely daunting and overwhelming, before you actually even begin the process. You’re worried about how your grades, extracurricular activities, and overall application will stand out among thousands of other applicants.

The truth is you possess a unique personality, educational goals, and experiences that can benefit the college you hope you attend. The trick is to be able to convey these attributes in your college application so you can prove your candidacy for acceptance.

Top 5 Ways To Make Your College Applications Stand Out

Here are the top five ways to make your college applications stand out:

1. Submit Your Applications Early

Admissions officers review applications as they arrive. By sending yours in early, you ensure it gets at least a once over before the wave of applications flood in during the weeks preceding the deadline. This will also show the admissions officers that you are responsible.


Do your research

Also, by not waiting until the last minute, you prevent stress and the errors that accompany it. Typos in college applications are definitely frowned upon. Make sure you proofread everything and have a friend, family member, or teacher read over the application as well. These precautionary measures to ensure a quality application are much more likely to occur if you plan ahead and submit your application early.

2. Include Detailed Essays

The essays are the number one way to make your applications stand out. Generalities are not memorable, so get specific. Talk about a certain life-changing moment, the feeling you had when you accepted an award, or what was going through your head as you presented a project. Use vivid speech to help the admissions officers reading your essays see the event clearly in their minds.

3. Prove You’re a Good Match for the School

Do your research ahead of time to discover which schools are the best match for you. Become familiar with each school’s mission statement, values, goals, and names of department chairs along with their accomplishments.

When you find schools that fit your criteria, make it known in your application. Point out how your educational aspirations line up with what the school provides. A healthy amount of name-dropping helps your application stand out as well, especially if you reach out to faculty members in advance.

4. Include Supplementary Materials

Before submitting your application, manage your online presence. Clean up any inappropriate tweets, Facebook pictures, etc in preparation for being scrutinized by admissions officers. Then, go one step further by creating a website that showcases your talents. Include a link to the website in your college application.

You can even take a multimedia approach and submit a DVD with portfolio images, music clips or video files explaining your candidacy and desire to attend the college. This media gives you additional room to explain a particular interest or talent in depth.

5. Back Up Your Activities/Volunteer Work with Newspaper Articles/Photos

While you recognize the value of being completely honest, not everyone does. Some people are desperate enough to lie about their experiences in order to look good on college applications. Admissions officers know this, so they take activities and volunteer work with a grain of salt.

However, you can prove your honesty by including newspaper clippings that highlight your accomplishments or photos that prove you were there. Whether it’s a story about your swim team making nationals, a photo of you accepting an award, or a photo of your church group working at the food bank, etc, these materials offer validity to your application and help you stand out.

Bonus Tip: Get Extra Help if You Need It

The 5 tips listed in this article should give you a great basis and start to helping your college applications stand out to admissions officers. But if you still feel that you need more help, you can look for a college consultant service to help you in preparation for and throughout your application process. Companies like Ivy Select and other college consultants companies possess the knowhow to help you differentiate your application from the rest and rise above competing applicants.

The writer of this article, Nicole Johnson, is a freelance writer who has been writing about the college application process for years.

cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo shared by Cassandra Leigh Gotto

Author: SmartStudent

SmartStudent is an educational portal that provides information & advice to aspiring students. regarding applying to university, choosing a course, what to take to university, finding student accommodation and much more.

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