8 steps to make your college application awesome

September 11, 2017

By Kimberly Paniagua Ferreira
Admissions Assistant /Financial Aid Counselor

Thanks to technology, most college applications are now completed online, which is especially convenient when you have several dozen more things to worry about when considering college.

Colleges receive thousands of applications every year and an admissions counselor reviews each completed application individually. That means, what you type, or don’t type, gets noticed–the good, the bad and the blanks. Therefore, even if you are packing an impressive GPA or stellar resume, a few misspelled words or poor structure could have them questioning their decision to admit you into their school.

To make sure your application is top-notch, keep these simple tips in mind as you go along through the application process.

The early bird gets the worm–and a better chance at an acceptance letter.

If you plan to start college right after high school, waiting until you’re nearing the end of your senior year is pushing it way too close. Applications can be filled out as early as the summer after your junior year, so don’t put it off until the last minute. If you have your heart set on a particular school, getting your application in early means better chances at securing your spot, as well as peace of mind knowing you’ve completed that essential step in a timely manner. Learn about Lees-McRae’s application deadlines for fall 2018 here!

Fly solo on this one.

Mom, Dad or your school counselor can help, but don’t have them do it all for you. This is your journey and filling out the application is too significant for anyone but yourself to complete. You’re not alone if you feel intimidated—for many high school students, this is their first “right of passage” to adulthood. Don’t let the process overwhelm you, just take each section at a time.

But don’t be afraid to ask questions.

The Admission Office is there to help! They understand that this is probably new territory for you. They want you to know that no question is too small or silly. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out! It looks so much better on your part to ask questions before submitting your application versus assuming or leaving blanks because you weren’t sure what to write. Already have a question? Great! Contact the Lees-McRae Admission Office now by clicking here.

You are awesome—now show it off!

Simply put: beef it up, but don’t lie. Make sure they know how much you desire to attend as well as your accomplishments and achievements. Take time to list out your volunteer activities, church or youth group participation as well as any hobbies or sports you play. Just make sure you don’t add anything that you can’t back up, especially when it comes to your academics or disciplinary record.

When in doubt, always fill it out.

It’s easy to skip over parts of the application you feel are unnecessary, but keep in mind that while you may be able to skip over it and move on, it’s on the application for a reason. To avoid being contacted at a later time by an admissions counselor (or not at all, because they declined your application for lack of completion) go ahead and gather the information requested and fill it out.

Slow and steady wins the race. Remember, you can always come back to it.

As the saying goes, haste makes waste. Most applications can be saved and continued later on if you’re crunched for time. Read each section carefully and make sure not to leave blanks. If need be, put “N/A” (not applicable) in fields that don’t apply to you as a way to show you read that section but it doesn’t pertain to you. Also remember that it is ok to let it rest—just don’t forget about it! Often times you’ll make mistakes when you’re frustrated or in a hurry, so if you feel a wave of tension taking you over, save your work, log off and resume at a later time. This is also helpful if you have been staring at the screen so long that your eyes are burning—take a break!

Reread not once, but twice…and then reread it again.

Finally you’re done—whew! But wait! Before you hit the submit button, reread it! You can also ask a parent, friend or school counselor to read it over for any errors. A second (or fifth!) set of eyes can be a lot of help. Besides, once you hit submit, your chances at editing are over and there is nothing worse than hitting submit then realizing you made a mistake.

So you’ve submitted your application, what’s next?

After clicking submit, you can usually expect to receive a communication within a couple days via email or phone from the Office of Admission. They will typically thank you for applying and list your next steps. In order to complete your application to receive a decision, you will need to submit the required supplemental items. These typically consist of your high school transcript, ACT or SAT test scores and your college transcript (if you’ve taken any college level courses). Lees-McRae also offers test-optional admission, which you can learn more about here. In most cases, you can login to your application through the college website to check what specific required supplemental items are needed for your application or call the Admission Office and speak to your counselor. To learn more about the admissions process at Lees-McRae, click here.

Ready to start your journey to Lees-McRae College? Start now. Begin your application today!

Categories:  Admissions,  All College News

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