7 Tips for Successful College Application

Applying to college can be very stressful at any age. After all, getting accepted to your chosen university or college could determine your life. On the other hand, it may not be as important as you expect it to be.

Nevertheless, it is always worth making sure your college application is as good as possible. Hence, here are seven tips to follow while completing your college application and applying to the colleges and universities you choose.

Tips for Successful College Application

College Applications and the admission process are the most critical aspect of the life of any student or parent. The right approach can lead to the right universities and the right life.

We will be providing tips for finding the right college, the right major, and even the right job. Below are 7 tips for successful college application you need to know:

#1 Identify All The Important Deadlines

First of all, you need to identify all the critical deadlines. In most cases, students will apply to multiple colleges and universities because only applying to a single one creates a high chance of not getting into any college or university.

And while most higher education institutions have similar application deadlines, there could still be differences. This is precisely why you need to identify all the essential deadlines as soon as possible.

For instance, one college might allow deadlines only until February, while a different college could let you apply as late as August. It would be best if you also kept in mind that foreign universities could have completely different deadlines.

For example, many European universities will let you apply for a program just a week before the beginning of the academic year. Not all colleges and universities are like that, so it’s worth checking deadlines as soon as possible.

#2 Read And Follow Instructions Carefully

When completing your college application, it is necessary to read and follow instructions carefully. If you have ever applied for a job before, you probably know that different employers have different requirements for your application.

Nevertheless, most of them ask you to include your CV or resume. The same can be said about college applications. Most higher education institutions will ask you about things such as:

  • Your personal and contact information
  • Your past academic records (e.g., high school transcripts)
  • Your aspirations for your studies and your career (e.g., a motivational letter or essay)
  • Additional documents (e.g., letters of recommendation from teachers)

Some universities and colleges will also require you to pass their entrance exams, but you will only have to do so after completing your application.

You should only think about the application itself rather than worry about those exams.

#3 Provide All the Requested Information

As mentioned above, most universities will request your personal and contact information, past academic records, aspirations for the future, and additional documents.

You will need to provide all the requested information and documents if you want your application to be considered. Otherwise, the institution might ignore your application.

Many colleges and universities don’t bother to get in touch with the applicants that forgot to include a document or a piece of information about themselves.

This is why you must follow instructions very carefully and prepare all the documents beforehand. It’s a good idea to write a list of what every college and university requires (you can do this while checking the application deadlines).

This way, you can start preparing everything before you sit down to complete your application.

However, ensure that everything is up to date (e.g., you didn’t get an unrecognizable haircut after taking a photo you will use for your application).

#4 Be Honest and Avoid Mistakes or Lies

Two things that need to be avoided at all costs are mistakes and lies. This is why you must be careful and honest while completing your college application.

Colleges and universities will be handling all the information you provide with utmost confidentiality so you can be sure that you will disclose none of your personal information to any third parties.

However, these institutions also expect that you are honest with the information you provide.

This is particularly important when it comes to scholarships. Some students may want to apply for scholarships and grants for past academic excellence or sports achievements.

Likewise, some students may be unable to pay for their tuition in full, so they may want to apply for scholarships based on their families’ financial situation.

It goes without saying that if you lie about something to get a scholarship and your lie is discovered, you will be expelled, and all your past academic progress at college might be annulled.

#5 Use the Essay to Show Who You Are

One of the most important parts of your application is not the application itself but the motivational letter or essay that you will need to attach.

This is where you can truly show who you are and what you aspire to achieve in life.

Colleges use motivational letters to understand better what you expect and want from the program that you are applying for and how you plan to use your newly acquired knowledge for your career.

Problems may arise when students are unsure about what they want to do in life and who they want to be. This is why some colleges allow students to choose different subjects before deciding what they want to study.

If this is the case for you, you can still create an impactful motivational letter or essay by writing about yourself as an individual. Think about the most important event in your life and how it shaped you as a person, and that’s what you write about.

#6 Prepare All the Additional Documents

In addition to a motivational letter or essay, most universities and colleges will ask you to provide high school transcript copies and recommendations.

Getting your high school transcripts and making copies should be easy enough, but it’s the recommendations that you need to approach more thoughtfully.

Often, these will be letters of recommendation from several of your teachers who can explain what kind of student you are.

Other commonly requested documents are test scores and certifications. For example, SATs are ubiquitous in the US. A prevalent English proficiency test for foreigners worldwide is IELTS (another is TOEFL).

Still, other types of language proficiency tests are internationally recognized and required if you plan to study in a different language. Pass any such tests as early as possible and prepare copies to send with your application.

#7 Proofread and Make Final Edits

Lastly, proofread your application and make the final edits before sending it in. It would be best if you made sure you didn’t make any linguistic or factual mistakes and were honest with all the information you provided.

You can even give your application to your friend, family member, or teacher so that they can have a read too.

Make copies of everything you send with your application and the application itself. Keep these copies in case you need them in the future.

After sending the applications to your chosen colleges and universities, ask for a confirmation that the institutions received them (if you don’t get an automatic confirmation by email).

Final Thoughts

Completing your college application successfully is not as difficult as it may seem initially, and it is probably much more accessible than many students expect it to be.

Just make sure that you follow all the tips in this article and complete and send your application before the deadline.

Reference: Harvard College

About The Author

Melissa Leis is a freelance writer who provides copywriting, ghostwriting, and blogging services. She is a contributor to Best Writers Online and currently working as an editor for a writing service review at Writing Judge


Melissa is a professional with many years of experience in creating high-quality marketing and digital optimization content. Her favorite things to keep growing and staying tuned are listening to inspirational podcasts and reading sci-fi books.

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