Keys to College Admission
Plan for College
Matching Characteristics
The Application
The Admission Process
Admission or Rejection
Additional Articles



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, etc.
  • Official transcript - from high school (should be sealed by registrar)
  • 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 have missed.


The Essay
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 better.

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.

Checking Over:

Does your introduction capture the reader's attention?
Are you consistent in your verb tense?
Are you clear and coherent?
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?