Responsibility And Timeliness
Clark Brigger, executive director for undergraduate admissions, Penn State University, tells his kids, “Do not wait for the deadline to submit your applications.” Admissions officers see a huge spike in applications when the deadline comes around. That's when the procrastinators send their applications in. It is to your advantage to get ahead of the crowd, according to Brigger.
Think strategically. Thing about the poor admissions officer. She has to read thousands of applications. If you get yours in early, the reader may be more relaxed and in a better mood at that point in the process. You also show that you value their time and are responsible.
Prioritize Quality Over Quantity
Stuart Schmill, dean of admissions, Massachusetts Institute of Technology advices that college admission officers do not want to see a laundry list of engagement in ever field, like music, sports, art, tech, etc. The most selective colleges want students to prioritize quality over quantity. You don't have to take every advanced class. You don't have to do every co-curricular activity. Focus on what you value the most.
Learning From Experience
Laura Simmons, assistant director, undergraduate admissions, Georgia Institute of Technology mentioned that she is not looking for students to have done any particular activity in the summer; but instead, she is looking to see how students grew from whatever they undertook. She sees students ranging from do some amazing research to being a lifeguard at the local pool. Both are learning from those experience. And if you know what major you want, you should do something connected to your area of interest. It makes it easy for the admissions office to predict whether you will be successful in college or not.
Be yourself As one admissions officer put it, “I look for beautiful, clear writing that comes to life on the essay page and offers insight into the character and personality of the student. Beware of being someone you are not in the essay. Beware of outside influence. Editing by adults or professionals often removes the very elements that admissions officers seek”.
When you write your essay, by yourself. Don't try to impress people or be what you are not. If you love traveling, talk about that. If you travel with family, but don't care much about that, don't talk about that. Find your passion. That can be hard because it involves introspection, which is often hard to do. Check with our Hillview Prep team how to write compelling college essays.
You don't have to Solve the World's Problems or Confess!
Stephen Farmer, vice provost for enrollment and undergraduate admissions, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill advises his own kids to share their essays with a friend and ask. “‘Can you hear my voice in this? Could you pick my essay from a stack of 200?’ The essay doesn’t have to be about something life-changing or confessional. Smaller topics, written well, almost always work best.”
GPA is important Colleges are looking for persistence. They want to admit students who will persist to college graduation, and the best judge is your high school performance. Are you academically strong? Can you take the workload and pressures of college? Nothing is more important than a high school transcript showing strong academic performance in a solid curriculum. If you are struggling with your GPA, contact us and we will be happy to help you improve your GPA.
Unequal and Not Equal
The only thing colleges and universities have in common is that they are all different. They are not equal. Yes, our society obsess about equality, but no two people can be equal. No two colleges can be the same. Talk about your differentiation—your unique story. The most memorable offers of admission often go to students who like to color outside the lines.
Find your (Not your Parents') Fit
Finding the right fit for you (not mom and dad) isn’t a cliche, so be yourself throughout the process. Ross R. Grippi II, Ohio Wesleyan University director of admission advises that colleges will read right through you if you’re not. You can’t fake it during the admission process. If you do, you’ll end up at a college or university that’s a poor fit.
Yes, you mom or dad may want you to go to the college of their dreams, but it is about your dream and not their dreams. It is also about the right fit. Find out that information. You can talk to Hillview Prep thought leaders to learn more about the college admissions and finding your fit. Check out the 'thought leader' page here.
Don't Fall for Tricks and Myths
There are no tricks to getting admitted. Listen to the advice of admission counselors from each institution to provide insight on their admission process, but don’t believe your if only you do play volleyball or go climb Mt. Everest, you will get in. Find out from the college. Go visit it and learn more about it. Talk to alumni. Our friendly Hillview Prep thought leaders will be happy to talk to you about their journey to the college of their dreams. Check out Hillview Prep's thought leader page below and do not hesitate to reach out to us to set up an appointment to speak with them.