Applying for College? Here Are Three Mistakes That Should be Avoided


Applying for college is a stressful thing, and not giving one's best effort to ensure acceptance will just make matters worse. To help applicants avoid mistakes that applicants usually make, a university graduate shares a few tips.

Harvard and MIT graduate Jessica Yeager, who has helped many college applicants get accepted, warns applicants of several mistakes that can actually be avoided in an article on the Business Insider. Here are some mistakes that she shared.

Being Lazy Re: the College Application

Starting too late, skipping the essay, and not preparing for other requirements such as the ACT, SAT, and interviews, will greatly ensure that an applicant will miss it, she says. These things can actually be avoided.

"You really want to give yourself plenty of time to develop your unique story, so don't wait to start your essay," Yeager says of the essay. "Start today, if you haven't already!"

"Burning Yourself Out"

Yeager says many students make the wrong idea of joining many clubs, participating in several sports, and participating in a myriad of activities, in order to gain acceptance to an Ivy League university. Actually, that just might backfire.

"[S]chools may interpret it as not really knowing yourself and what you want to do," she says. "Focusing on a few interests you really care about and going deep can really set you apart."

That's pretty much similar to what Nelson Ureña, former Cornell University admissions officer, said in a Reddit AMA.

"[W]hat connects most with admissions officers is demonstrated passion in one or two areas," he said.

Showing Lack in Enthusiasm or Drive for College Acceptance

Selling one's self short and sending a generic application, and showing aloofness or a lack of interest in the school or programs can also spell rejection for any college applicant.

"College applications are not the place to undersell," Yeager says. Applications should include reasons why the applicant must be accepted in the school, as well as the respective student's achievements, specifically and quantitatively detailed.

It would also be good for the applicant to show enthusiasm by visiting the campus, and connecting with relevant people or organizations related to the school and program, then discussing them in the supplemental essays.

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