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Education

Rae Largura: 5 Tips Toward a Top-Notch College Application

Applying for college can be a daunting experience, even for a student that feels fully prepared. With so many options, different style applications, financial aids and scholarships, the process can quickly become overwhelming.

With early decision deadlines due around the corner and regular deadlines before your know it, here are some tips to make the process a little smoother.

1. Read the instructions.

The first tip in filling out a college application is also the most basic. So many mistakes have been made and applicants thus denied because the applicant simply did not read the details. Errors can be avoided if you simply read and follow the instructions.

Along the same vein, make sure you fill the application out completely. Admissions directors do not like blanks. You have one chance to make an impact, and in this case, it must primarily be done through your application.

2. Be honest.

Do not add the fluff. Admissions will see through it. Even if you think you do not have an adequate amount of achievements or honors, do not exaggerate.

Do not ever forge letters of recommendations. Admissions will follow up on references and recommendations. If authenticity is questioned, your application just might land in the decline pile.

3. Edit your social media.

Review your Facebook page like you are an admissions director for the college of your choice. Is there anything you might want to delete?

More than likely, your Facebook page could use some cleaning up. Assume that admissions will want to get to know you a little by what you post and what you do in your spare time.

4. Don't ignore the essay.

The essay is extremely important. This is your opportunity to show your personality, identity, character and growth. This is your place to shine.

Make sure it truly represents who you are, your views and what makes you special. You deserve to go to that school and let them know why.  

As with the whole application, it is a good idea to complete it, then let it sit for a couple days. Go back after two to three days with fresh eyes. This fine-tuning will often turn an “A” application into an “A+” application.

5. Ask for advice.

Don't be shy about getting help. Friends, teachers,  professors and family want to help. They all want you to go to your college of choice as well.  

If you are not the best writer, get some professional writing help. This essay must be your words and your thoughts, however, nothing is wrong with a little grammar and sentence structure help.

This is an exciting time. Slow down and make the application your best. Make sure your social media life is faultless and get help if needed.

— Rae Largura is president of Leading Edge Tutors. The opinions expressed are her own.

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