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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

College Application Mistakes to Avoid?

Hi there, I'm going to be applying to colleges soon and I've heard about making mistakes that could hurt my application. Can anyone share some of the common college application mistakes to watch out for? Thank you in advance!

7 months ago

Hi! It's great that you're actively thinking about avoiding mistakes during the college application process. Here are some common mistakes to watch out for:

1. Procrastination: Don't wait until the last minute to start working on your application. Give yourself plenty of time to draft and revise your essays, gather letters of recommendation, and review your application materials before submitting them.

2. Not researching colleges thoroughly: Similarly, take your time on this - before applying, make sure you thoroughly understand the schools on your list, their values, and offerings. This will help you craft more compelling applications and ensure that you're applying to schools that are a good fit for you.

3. Generic essays: Admissions officers review thousands of essays, so it's important that yours stands out. Avoid overused topics, and make sure your essay is unique and reflective of your personality, experiences, and perspectives. You can read about some cliche topics to avoid on CollegeVine's blog: https://blog.collegevine.com/cliche-college-essay-topics.

4. Forgetting to proofread: Spelling and grammatical errors can leave a poor impression and detract from your application's overall strength. Always proofread your work, and consider asking a teacher, counselor, or trusted friend to review it as well. You can also utilize either CollegeVine's Free Peer Essay Review service, or submit it to one of CollegeVine's many expert college admissions advisors for a paid review.

5. Incomplete or incorrect application information: Double-check all application materials to ensure that nothing is missing or incorrect, including your contact information, transcripts, extracurricular activities, and other details.

6. Failing to manage recommenders: Provide your teachers and counselors enough lead time to write well-thought-out letters of recommendation. Clearly communicate the deadlines and any specific request or requirements the colleges have. Keep track and follow up with your recommenders to ensure timely submission.

7. Choosing the wrong application plan: Understand the differences between Early Decision, Early Action, Regular Decision, and other application plans. Be strategic and selective when choosing which application plans to use for each school on your list.

8. Overloading on extracurriculars: Colleges value quality over quantity when it comes to extracurricular activities. Focus on developing a few meaningful commitments rather than spreading yourself too thin across many activities.

9. Neglecting financial aid: Research and apply for financial aid opportunities, including scholarships, grants, and work-study programs. Don't wait until the last minute to complete the FAFSA, CSS Profile, or any institutional financial aid forms.

10. Not seeking help when needed: Don't hesitate to ask for assistance from your school counselor, teachers, parents, or other trusted advisors throughout the application process. They can provide valuable guidance, support, and feedback to help you submit your strongest application possible, and also emotionally support you through the inevitable ups and downs of this process.

Being aware of these potential pitfalls can help you navigate through the college application process more smoothly. Good luck with your applications!

7 months ago

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