5 Things You Shouldn’t Do on a College Application

5 Things You Shouldn’t Do on a College Application


College application time is a stressful and scary one. There are SAT/ACT tests, tons of essays, trying to make your afterschool activities sound marketable, etc. and it’s easy to make a few mistakes along the way. Here are five things you shouldn’t put on a college application.

1. Lie

I know it’s tempting to make up some dramatic ideas about what you’ve done during your high school career, but it’s just not worth it to lie on your application. Colleges can see right through them, and if you’re applying to a school that requires interviews, you will definitely get caught in the act!

2. Adding ideas that aren’t your own

The college application essay is obviously a huge part of the application process. I remember spending so much time writing essay after essay. Part of making sure your application will give you a better chance of being accepted is to put your own ideas and thoughts into the essay. Admissions counselors read stacks of these things every day. They will be able to tell when you’re not being genuine.

3. A laundry list of accomplishments

Obviously you want to brag about yourself a little bit in your application, but don’t be redundant when they have your transcript and resume in front of them, too. You don’t need to write a ridiculously long paragraph about the five AP classes you took your junior year. All of that is on your transcript, and they’ll have your AP scores too! Use what space you have for writing about your own ideas and unique things about yourself that aren’t listed elsewhere.

4. Writing a second essay in the Additional Information section

The Additional Information section is very tempting, especially when you’re filling out an application for a school you really want to go to. However, don’t write an entire essay about how badly you want to go there in the section - it doesn’t help them make a decision at all. Most of the students applying to that school “really want to go there,” so if you want to add something here, make it something uniquely you!

5. Not proofreading

This is a really bad habit of mine. When I spend forever on a paper, I just want to be done with it once I write that last word and I don’t want to spend another second on it. Well, your college application essays are probably the most important essays to proofread. Silly grammar mistakes, run-on sentences, and improper formatting are easy ways to get your application set aside. Consider proofreading mandatory!

Related: How to Craft the Perfect College Application Essay



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