The pressure is on but don’t let silly mistakes sneak into your college applications.   Most of these will seem too simple to even mention but they’re more prevalent that you think…and, have a big impact on how you present yourself in the review process. 

Here goes. 

Don’t rush through the instructions. Carefully read them through before you begin and reference them as you work. If you don’t understand something – ask your counselor, a mentor, or reach out to an admissions advisor at the school whose application you’re completing.  Following the instructions strengthens your application. 

Fill in all of the blanks or boxes on the application. As you’re working through a lengthy form it is easy to say “I’ll come back to that one” but you must make sure that you do. Double and triple check your work before submitting. Missing information will stall your application when it is reviewed. 

Speaking of double checking – spell and grammar check your work. Seems like an obvious one but believe me – not everyone takes enough care with this. Sure, a typo here or there might not disqualify you but it won’t help you either. Don’t just rely on an auto spell checker. Get at least two human proofreaders involved. You’ll be glad you did. 

Provide exactly what is asked for. Those photos of you starring in the school play, scans of awards you’ve received are wonderful personal keepsakes but they won’t help your application if you include them without being asked. Use your resume and prompts within the application to highlight these achievements.  

And on the other side of that coin – make sure you DO include all the materials that are asked for. And again, double check that they are attached before you hit send. 

Quick summary – Read the instructions, make sure the application is complete, attach and include what you’re asked for and proofread, proofread, proofread. 

You’re off to great things.

 Good Luck!