3 years ago
Admissions Advice

I listed my ECs in the Common App in chronological order instead of in order of importance. Should I email them?

I applied to mostly T20 schools. This dumb mistake is driving me crazy. I must have reviewed my app a dozen times and missed the instructions. Idk if it’s worse to point it out though. The most important activities are in the middle and end. The first activity the AO will see is Pep Band.


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3 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago

Hi there, congrats on finishing your applications! I'm sorry to hear about the mistake and the distress it's been causing. I know it can seem like a tiny mistake can ruin your chances and years of hard work, but rest assured this is not the case here!

Here are the potential pros and cons of emailing the admissions offices:


- The admissions officers will recognize that your activities are in the wrong order and may pay closer attention when reading them.


- This will draw attention to this mistake and it may look like carelessness.


- Admissions officers get tons of daily communications, and they may not even think much of this, and won't make a note of this mistake anyways (so they may not view your appication any differently). They also probably can't modify the activity order either on their end.

If it's any reassurance, admissions officers do generally review all your ECs because they have to rate the overall strength of them. Given this info, it's up to you to make the best decision for you!

3 years ago


While you might not be able to email your EC's again (and you shouldn't), something that colleges value a lot is for you to send them a simple email stating that you believe that you made such mistake in your application. After that, they will respond to the email and will most likely tell you that they appreciate the update and will add a note to your application. I know how a mistake like this one can drive you crazy for a few days but sending the update email will surely help them understand the order of your EC's and help you reduce the anxiety regarding that. I wish you all the best in your application process!


3 years ago

I think that you shouldn’t email them. In my opinion, the admissions officers probably heard about the debate between whether to order activities by importance or date before and they probably don’t care. They’re gonna look at your activities still. Some might say that they will skim the last few activities so that’s why importance matters but I think they will skim the whole list since they have to look at other applicants. Anyways, I could be wrong.

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