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Admissions Mistakes

Below are several common mistakes that many students make when applying to college and advice on how to avoid them. Avoiding these mistakes may mean the difference between acceptance and rejection.

Missing Deadlines
Keep track of all admissions deadlines. If you miss a deadline, you should request an extension. However, extensions will not always be granted. Admissions offices create deadlines in order to have time to evaluate every application in a timely matter.

It is important to note that even you are granted an extension, missing a deadline can still hurt your chances for admissions. Missed deadlines convey to the admissions department that attending their college is not a priority for you. In addition, missed deadlines may cause admissions representatives to question your ability meet other important college deadlines.

Failing to Follow Directions
Carefully read the directions for each section of the application. Once you have completed the application you should review every section to double check that you followed the directions throughout the application.

Failing to follow directions it will likely create a negative impression of you to the college admissions representative. It might cause the representative to wonder if you will be able to succeed in your college courses, because those courses will require you to follow directions.

In addition, it is more difficult for admissions representatives to review your application when you fail to follow directions because they are not getting the information about you they requested. They are also unable to compare your application with other applicants who did follow directions. Applications that are difficult to review because missing or incorrect information will be less likely to receive a favorable review.

Not Completing It Yourself
College applications are designed to allow admissions representatives to get to know the students who are applying. Therefore, they expect the students to be the ones to complete the entire application themselves. If they suspect that someone else has completed your application, they will be less likely to have a positive opinion of it.

Writing in Text Type
It is important to use conventional spelling and grammar throughout your application. Contemporary writing that is commonly used among friends who are corresponding though text messaging and other electronic communication has no place in the admissions process. Even when you are using electronic media to contact admissions representatives, it is important to write professionally.

Using unconventional writing will cause admissions representatives to question your writing ability. It will also cause them question your ability to regulate your behavior between formal and informal situations.

Projecting an Inappropriate Online Image
Many admissions representatives investigate studentsí online presence during the evaluation process. Use of foul language, references to drinking or recreational drugs, provocative pictures, or anything else negative can hurt your chances of admission. Privacy settings can help, but remember that once itís on the Web it could be reposted by one of your friends. Also, privacy glitches occasionally happen causing private information to become public. Therefore, it is generally best to keep your Web presence clean.

Not Proofreading
Once you have completed your application and all of the supplementary materials, it is time to proofread everything. It can also be helpful to have an adult, such as a parent or teacher, review the materials as well. Mistakes on your application might give the impression that you are not conscientious. Also, the lack of effort reflected in failure to proofread might cause the representative to question your desire to attend their school.


Many students applying to college make the mistakes above. It is important to avoid making these mistakes because they will cause your application to be perceived less positively. They may even cause your application to be rejected.


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