Getting into college is tough these days- there are so many students seeking admission. It’s important for students to do the best job they can to show that they are a good fit for the colleges they apply to. Parents and school administrators can support this process in a number of ways. In today’s episode, we share our best tips for helping your students get into college.
Our Top Tips
The application is a critical part of what a student sends to each college they apply to. It’s not just about highlighting your test scores and grades (though those are important too). The application, and more specifically, the personal essay is an opportunity to show who you are, that you appreciate different perspectives, that you can think critically, and that you’re a team player. That’s a lot, but it’s worth it to take the time to create a great personal essay that stays true to who the applicant is.
When colleges have a huge list of applicants, you want to highlight how you stand out as an individual with varied interests. Schools can help students become more aware of what to put on the application to help show the applicant in the best light. And, in order to be seen positively, a social media check (and clean-up) is a must for college applicants. An additional step to standing out with your application is to have strong letters of recommendation; be sure to plan ahead (and talk to your students well ahead of time) about not only their letters, but all pieces of the application, as each school will have its own deadline, and you don’t want to miss one!
Cover letter tips
We don’t know when cover letters became the norm for college applications, but even if one isn’t requested, we encourage you to include it! That’s because it’s another opportunity to show who you are and help you stand out from the crowd. Be sure to customize each cover letter (don’t just cut and paste!), discussing why you’re interested in the particular school, and be sure that your application, essay, and cover letter are free from errors.
And, if you’re an educational institution, or a homeschooler, be sure to think about sending professional looking transcripts along with your application and cover letter so that you can be a triple threat.
Not sure about what we mean by a professional transcript? Check out this episode of Beyond Transcripts
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