7 College Admission Do's and Don'ts
By Upasana Gupta - March 05, 2013
The whole process of application and seeking
admission into college can be a daunting task
for any student. Especially when every college has it's unique
requirement and criteria for selecting candidates for admission.
Here are few admission do's and don'ts, which can help prospective
college students be better prepared to understand and handle the
college admission process.
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1. Do focus on getting good grades: A key factor
admission officers look into while selecting a candidate for college
is their grades. " A student's transcript is highly correlated to
his or her success in college," says Phil Betz, director of
admissions at Monmouth College, a private, liberal arts institution
located in Illinois. "It speaks of their ability to choose rigorous
courses and do well after high school."
2. Do pay attention to deadlines: Different parts
of a college admission application may have different deadlines.
Students should be aware of this and mail required documents much
ahead of the given deadlines and always arrange for proof of
3. Do plan to get applications in early: Some
schools have rolling admissions, in these cases, spots are taken as
applications arrive and are accepted, so it's especially important
to get a student's application in as early as possible.
4. Do proofread: Students should always practice to
proofread their application forms. Typos, misspellings and
other errors can easily lower their chances of getting admission. It
is also a good idea to fill-out practice copies before filling out
the original form.
5. Do schedule a campus visit: Students should try
to schedule their college admission interview and look into spending
the weekend on campus by requesting the admissions office. Most
schools sponsor an overnight program for prospective students.
"Students should invest in a personal face-to-face meeting on campus
and view the college search process like they are trying to land
their dream job," says Betz. Summer however, is
not a good time to schedule a campus visit because class sessions
are not regular and many faculty and department heads are on
6. Do invest time in writing, editing, and rewriting college
essays: Students should try and learn to express their
thoughts and ideas and have at least one other person proofread
their final drafts. For more advice on essays, students should
consult teachers or their guidance counselors.
7. Do engage in social media: Students engaging
with the admission staff on Facebook, Twitter helps in networking
and building rapport. Colleges generally post application deadlines,
event dates, virtual tours of the campus and forums to ask questions
on social media sites. At Monmouth College, Betz often engages his
current students on social media sites to respond to queries posted
by prospective students to foster interaction and relationship
building. " Facebook is an instant, authentic and free vehicle to
share our story with prospective students," says Betz.
1. Don't leave everything to last minute: Plan
ahead so that there is plenty of time to work on the application
essays, standardized tests, letters of recommendation and more.
Students should leave enough time for parents and teachers to assist
in the process without feeling the need to rush.
2. Don't stress if exam scores are not great:
However, students should plan on retaking standardized tests like
SAT or ACT and attempt to
( View our exam section
to get updated information on standardized college entrance tests.)
3. Don't assume that college tuition will be high in a
private college or university: Students should always wait
to receive their
financial -aid awards before making a decision on the
cost. "Don't assume you will pay the ticket price of a private
school," Betz says. "We constantly
battle with cost. Students who are patient through the financial aid
process are often surprised at the affordability of a private college
education." He further
adds that although the college ticket prices have gone up in private
institutions, the actual cost of college for a freshman after financial aid has
remained the same for some instutions such as Monmouth College.
4. Don't take shortcuts on the essay. Don't let someone else
write or rewrite it: Applicants should also not try to
include all of their accomplishments in the essay such that it reads
like a laundry list of activities. Instead, they must take this
opportunity to showcase original thoughts and ideas on the topic
which helps in revealing their character and personality. Also, they
should attempt to answer each and every aspect of the essay question
within the character/word limit provided.
5. Don't apply for early decision program:
Especially, for students who are undecided about their choice of
colleges. Early decision or action programs make sense only if
students are 100 percent sure of the college they want to attend.
6. Don't allow grades to fall: Many colleges will
ask to see at least some of the student's senior grades before
making an admissions decision. " In our selection process, we give a
lot of emphasis to good GPA's," Betz says. It is therefore,
significant for applicants to work hard and keep grades high.
7. Don't take your social media presence for granted:
Prospective college students might think that their applications are
the only factor in determining admission into college. However,
their social media profiles could also influence whether or not they
will be accepted into the schools they have applied for.
Students need to be aware of how their actions online can hinder
their chances of getting into college. If a student is irresponsible
online they run the risk that the college they apply to will place
some of their metrics on that profile.
(Also, read our college admission