The Insider's Guide to Education

Standing Out in a Sea of Worthy College Applicants…


The college admissions process can take quite a toll on a student and even an entire family. Starting with visiting colleges and figuring out where to apply and then trying to complete the various parts of an application to make it stand out among the thousands of others that college admissions offices will review on an annual basis, the process can amount to a tremendous source of stress. And once that’s all done, waiting for those anticipated letters of acceptance can really put an applicant over the edge.

So what can a senior in high school do to stand out in a sea of other worthy college applicants? Here are some useful tips:

  1. Correspond with an admissions counselor. Ask them specific questions about their academic programs and campus life in order to communicate your interest in their college. Make sure that your interactions demonstrate that you are a qualified candidate with a passion for this school. Do not, however, overuse this option.
  2. Reach out to a professor in your area of interest to learn more about their curricular offerings and opportunities. As in the case of your communications with an admissions officer, use this an opportunity to convey your sincere interest in their school. There’s a good chance that the professor will pass along your communications with the admissions department.
  3. Although interviews are typically deemed optional, applicants shouldn’t hesitate to take advantage of the chance to sit down for an interview. This can be done on campus or even with a local alum in your community or via Skype. Interviews are great opportunities for candidates to make personal connections and also share information that may be difficult to capture on an application.
  4. Complete school-specific supplements with care! Don’t underestimate the importance of the answers you provide to questions that the college may ask of you to help them better determine how well you will fit into their programs of study and campus life. These usually come in the form of short answer responses. Do your homework on the school to ensure your answers are personalized to each institution.
  5. Write an essay that reveals something about you that the rest of your application cannot…your personality. It should give admissions officers a sense of who you are, as well as showcase your writing skills. When writing the essay, try to develop a creative angle to make your essay stand out among the thousands of others. An essay is a great way to show how you’ve grown as a person as a result of a meaningful life experience.

Yes, the college admissions process can be stressful from start to finish. It requires candidates to manage their applications and that takes time and effort. Remember, though, when it comes right down to it, colleges want to admit applicants who will actually choose to attend their school. That means that everything applicants can do to demonstrate a sincere interest will help them to stand out in a sea of worthy candidates!

For more information on the college admissions process, check out what Business Insider has to say in his article by clicking HERE.

The Insider's Guide to Education provides insight from an education professional about topics of interest in education. From how to motivate your child to read to study tips and college planning, you will be given insight for students of all ages. The Insider's Guide is sponsored by Estelle Finkel Center for Learning.  The professionals at Estelle Finkel provide tutoring, SAT and ACT test preparation and general tutoring for elementary school, middle school and high school age students in subject areas including reading, writing, math, social studies, Spanish and more.  Visit our website for more information.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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