A SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION
Making a Strong Admission Application
What information do you need to give to schools when you apply for admission?
Generally schools ask for:
- Personal information - name, address, date of birth,
- Official transcript - from high school (should be sealed
- Activities listing- non-academic interests, résumé
- Personal statements - goal statements, essays
- Recommendations - from employers, teachers, friends
Admission applications come in various forms. Some are
simply a single sheet of paper on which you answer questions. Others ask
that you submit an essay, recommendations, perhaps a portfolio of past accomplishments.
Most require a combination of academic and personal information. Be sure
to read the application guidelines carefully and contact an admission counselor
if you have any questions. Be sure to give yourself 6 weeks or more to complete
admission applications and required attachments. Have a friend or family
member read your application for content and to spot any errors you might
Admission officers want to know more about prospective students than statistics
and dry facts. Essays are an extremely important part of the admission process,
simply because they are the most personal piece of the admission application.
Be sure your essay is personal not generic. The reader wants to know YOU
To begin, you are writing for a purpose; you are trying
to convince either an admission officer, or a committee, that by virtue
of your merit (academic achievement, athletic prowess, leadership interests,
etc.) they should either admit you into their school. In order to accomplish
this, present yourself as clearly and fully as possible. Your personal essay
should be dedicated to expounding your good qualities and achievements.
Committees and admission officers are impressed with personal
growth and individuality. If you think that cannot possibly mean you, think
again - it does. You are not the same person you were one, two or three
years ago. You have matured, you probably have more family and/or work responsibilities,
and you probably have become more involved in your academics and outside
interests. If this weren't true, you wouldn't be thinking about attending
college, and you wouldn't be reading this now. So think positively, and
brainstorm! Don't worry whether or not what you have to say is important
enough or particular enough to catch someone's attention. If you are writing
about something that you truly care about, it will be interesting and worthwhile.
your introduction capture the reader's attention?
Are you consistent
in your verb tense?
Are you clear and
Are you concise
enough to adhere to limits of length?
Have you checked
for grammatical and spelling errors?
Does the essay
present you as you wish to be seen?
Did another person
check your essay for errors?
Would you remember
your essay if you read 200 others?
Does your closing
paragraph present you as you wish to be remembered?
Finally, when reading
your essay is it personal, could it be about
anyone but you?