When time comes to apply for admission to college, many high school students are looking for ways to stand out. While college admission boards will pay a significant amount of attention to things like grades and SAT or ACT scores, the application itself is also a factor. Many of the common tips and guides can help students to create a standard application, but they won't help students stand out and get noticed in a positive light. To play to their strengths, aspiring college students should use these five helpful tips to craft a more unique and effective college application.
1. Use Conversational Language
One of the most common mistakes for college applicants is writing too formally. Although it may be tempting to use an impressive vocabulary, it can actually be a disadvantage if the definitions are not appropriate in a certain context or the phrasing sounds unnatural. Whenever possible, students should write just as they would speak. While grammar and spelling are important, keep the application conversational.
2. Supplement the Application With Digital Media Files
With today's technology, it can be difficult to summarize a person's skills and talents in a single application or sheet of paper. Anyone who has skills in an alternative medium should be sure to include that with their application. Students will make a real impression if they send in a DVD of their recent band performance, their poetry written aloud or even digital images of recent paintings.
3. Capture a Specific Moment With Exceptional Detail
Many students try to fit as much as possible about their life and their talents into an admission essay for a college application. While this can be effective, it won't help the student to stand out from the crowd. An alternative approach is to write about a specific moment in time. This could be anything from the shock of diving into cool water at a recent swimming competition or the moment when a student realized they wanted to become a doctor. Capture all the minute details that go into creating a vivid moment that an admissions board will remember.
4. Include a Link To a Personal Website
A refreshing and unique way to stand out with a college application is to include a link to a personal website. By creating a website that details achievements, students can present their case for admission in a novel and creative way. This also demonstrates technological skills and website design, which will further impress the college.
5. Write From the Future
Most applicants write in the past tense for their essay, detailing what has been done over their lifetime. For a different approach, try writing from the future. Create an essay that details what has been done over the past 20 years thanks to a college education from the institution where you are applying.
Each of these five unique approaches can help students to really stand out when writing a college application. By creating something unique, students will have a better chance of making a great impression on the college admission board.
Jason Stein knows the ins and outs of admissions essays! As an applicant tracking system developer, he is sure to always be updated on the latest college application trends and university’s demands of their potential applicants. When not at work, Jason can be found riding his bike down roads less travelled, spending time with his wife and kids, and eating pizza.