6 Practically Painless Ways to Make Your College Education Application Stand Out

November 2, 2023
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Your college application is all your dreams, hopes and desires wrapped up in a paper package. It tells admissions officers everything they need to know about you. Gimmicks, like application videos, won’t make you stand out, because admissions officers aren’t looking for the application with the best wrapping. They want to find the best applicants for their college. You can, however, make your college application stand out and improve your chances of getting into the college of your choice if you follow these simple tips.

Be Yourself

In high school, students are taught a formal way of writing. While you shouldn’t throw away everything you learned in English class, insert some personality into your writing. If you love knock, knock jokes, then create one as the hook to your essay. Increasing your chances of getting an acceptance letter is that simple. Of course, if you don’t meet their standards, then adding a bit of personality to a well-written essay won’t get you into the college. Don’t write your essay the day before you have to submit the application. Admission officers have read plenty of essays and will know if you rushed the creation of the essay. It screams “procrastinator.”

Be Specific

Show you have goals and plan on doing great things with the degree from their college. You aren’t boasting or counting your chickens before they hatch. Admissions officers really want to know. Be specific, such as”I’m going to use a degree in foreign relations from your college to pursue a career in foreign service and hopefully, one day become an ambassador.” Show the application reviewer you aren’t just going to get a degree and go to work at the nearest gas station after college. Unless you plan to apply to Harvard, it doesn’t have to be a lofty goal like becoming a doctor. Be specific as possible.

Fewer Extracurriculars

Too many after school activities can hurt your chances of getting into the college of your choice. Focus on two to three activities during high school. It shows you can commit and that you know what you enjoy. This, too, makes you seem like a stable choice for their college.

Better Letters of Recommendations

Look beyond the title and prestige for individuals, who actually know you. Coaches and favorite teachers are a few of the individuals you can ask. These individuals know you and can describe your successes. You want strong letters of recommendations; Friends of your parents may not be able to write you one.


Spend time volunteering. You can walk dogs at the local animal shelter or volunteer at a soup kitchen. Try to volunteer in the field you want to seek employment in after college. For example, a future information science major might volunteer to teach computer class to low-income seniors at their local YMCA. This give you experience in what you want to do and harks back to colleges wanting students you can go the distance and get their diploma.

Electronic Portfolio

Create an electronic portfolio or scrapbook, which showcases your successes. Keep links to any article, that you were featured in your local newspaper, such as the time you invented a tool to assist seniors or spearheaded a community project. You can send the link to the portfolio in your application. When students apply to an artistic major, such as journalism, web design or art, your portfolio should include samples of your work. Skip the gimmicks. College admissions officers don’t care about them. Stand out by polishing your application until it shines. Colleges want students, who will succeed at their college. And your time is better spent showing you will succeed, then creating some other way to stand out. Where do you what to go to college and why?

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