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Mistakes to Avoid When Applying to Colleges

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Applying to Colleges

Getting into college can be extremely competitive, with institutions receiving literally thousands of applications every year. As such, you must ensure yours is as good as possible before you submit it. Looking for some advice? Here are six common mistakes you need to avoid in order to stand the best chances of being accepted to your dream school.

1. Missing Deadlines

This might seem obvious, but missing an application deadline is surprisingly common – and a surefire way to scupper your chances. Check the deadline for each program you’re planning on applying to carefully because some may be earlier than others.

In addition, you’ll need to keep track of the deadlines for applying for scholarships and other forms of financial aid, as well as gather materials such as transcripts and test scores.

2. Not Doing Your Research

Every degree program and college is different, so research them thoroughly before applying. You can look at the Cal LA admission requirements at as well as those for other institutions to see where you stand a good chance of being accepted.

On top of that, you need to know the specifics of each program in order to write a compelling personal statement that will convince the admissions team you’ll be a great fit.

3. Being Too Vague

Details truly do matter when applying to college. The admissions team wants to know the exact reasons you’re interested in their program, and saying something generic that could apply to any college in the country isn’t going to cut it.

Go into specifics about why you like the course and the university, so they can see that you’re genuinely passionate about studying there. Maybe there’s a unique module that caught your eye or an individual teacher you’re keen to learn from. Whatever your reasons, be sure to include them!

4. Not Selling Yourself

Most people find the idea of selling themselves uncomfortable; however, you need to do so if you want colleges to pick you out of all the other applicants. Don’t be afraid to discuss your strengths and achievements in detail, both in terms of academics and extracurriculars.

If it helps, pretend you’re talking about your best friend! This is your opportunity to shine, so don’t sell yourself short because of embarrassment or nerves.

5. Being Dishonest

Following on from the previous point, it’s crucial that you don’t oversell yourself either. You might think you’re being clever by exaggerating your achievements, but in the vast majority of cases, the admissions team will spot deception a mile away.

At the same time, don’t disparage others in order to make yourself sound better – this will only reflect negatively on you.

6. Not Proofreading Your Application

You’d be surprised how many students submit personal statements with grammar mistakes, spelling errors, and even the name of a different college on them! Make sure you take the time to proofread your application carefully before submitting it. If possible, ask someone else to have a look at it for you – it’s much easier to spot other people’s mistakes than your own because you think you know what you’ve written.

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