06 July 2011

3 Admissions Mistakes You Can Avoid

The Unigo Expert Network is a group of top education experts from across the US answering questions submitted by students and parents about college admissions and succeeding after high school.

“In your experience, what are three of the most significant and avoidable mistakes students make throughout the admissions process?”—Elizabeth R., Omaha, NE.

A: Fit, follow-up and folly
FIT: Students must do the self-analysis necessary to determine what kind of school will be the best match for them.  Too often, they are swayed by the opinions of others – parents, friends, rankings, etc.  FOLLOW UP: Many students assume that their documents have arrived at admissions offices. If they have not received confirmation that their file is complete, they should contact the school to verify. FOLLY: Too many students believe that “senioritis” is a privilege/right.  It is not.  Schools will be reviewing final senior grades and reserve the right to revoke admission if there are significant declines in performance.

Alison Almasian— Director of Admissions - St. Lawrence University

A: Proofread, proofread, and proofread again
Much like the rules for hair care in the movie Legally Blonde, there are three simple and finite rules that will keep you from making the most egregious application mistakes:  Proofread, proofread and proofread again!  You do not want your essay to stand out because of an outrageous spelling error or a naïve double entendre. Before any item is matched with an envelope, email address or upload site, double and triple check that you are sending the right item to the right college. Nothing makes you look more disorganized and silly than sending an essay about why you love Carol Stack’s College to Faber College. Deadlines do matter! 

Carol Stack—Principal - Hardwick Day Inc.

A: 3 significant and avoidable mistakes
1) Shopping by "brand name." Some students (and their parents) are way too focused on the prestige of the college name, rather than whether the college is a suitable intellectual and social match. 2) Under-utilizing the opportunity offered by the "personal statement." Admissions officers would rather hear about a typical day in an applicant's life or how a quirky relative affected the student, than about the applicant's plans to stop global warming. 3) Resume-building instead of enjoying a healthy balance of activities. If the fulfilling activities also look impressive, that’s great, but simply piling up activities with college in mind cheats many students out of enjoying high school.



Jane Gabin– College Counselor - New York City

Don’t miss answers by the Director of Admissions at St. Lawrence University, and more – at www.unigo.com/expertnetwork.  To send your question to our experts, visit www.unigo.com/expertquestions

5 comments:

Aristotle Circle said...

Thanks for these! Finding the right college is so important! Here are some tips for getting the financial aid application right also: http://www.aristotlecircle.com/blog/avoid-mistakes-financial-aid-application

Emma |iHELP said...

Excellent tips - especially agree with ignoring "brand names" when it comes to picking the best college.

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