Last year, Princeton University accepted seven percent of applicants into their class of 2019. While according U.S. News and World Report, Princeton is the most selective of national universities, other schools don't far too far behind in their low acceptance rates. With more and more international and domestic students applying to the same schools, college admittance is increasingly competitive. Here are 5 ways you can make your application stand out:
- Follow the Application Instructions
This may seem like an obvious statement, but in the stress of applying it can be easy to think a quick skim over the instructions will suffice. Allow yourself enough time to carefully read over the instructions, noting the word count for essays and required materials. While it may be tempting to go over the word limit or submit an extra letter of recommendation--don't. With hundreds of essays to read, admission officers will likely not read any extra materials you submit.
- Apply Early
If a college has rolling admissions or early decisions options, applying early is always key. With rolling admissions, applying early will mean that your application will be judged right as it's received meaning that there will be less comparison to others' applications and therefore less competition. Early decision usually means you are bound to go to the college if you are admitted, but if you are sure about your top choice this is the best way to make you standout.
- Go the Extra Mile
While submitting extra materials won't benefit you, filling out optional essays or spaces to expand on your extracurriculars might. If you're on the border of getting in, the extra effort can help decide whether or not you will get in. Additionally, let college's know that you've researched them by including in your essays how their mission statement aligns with your values, or something you liked about their campus when you visited.
- Take the Lead on Follow-Up
While it may be nice to have your parents follow-up on your application and book your interview, there is no better way to show a college that you are a self-directed individual than by taking charge of your process. By calling the admissions offices with questions, arranging your own campus visits, and scheduling your own interview you are showing that you have interest in the process.
- Include a Resume
If given an option to include extra materials, do your best to include a resume with your application. Including a resume will give you the option to mention the extraordinary talents and skills you have not asked about in the application.
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