The college application process is hectic, and waiting for acceptance or (heaven forbid) rejection can be incredibly stressful. Do not undermine your hard work in school by making a mistake on your application! Save yourself heartache by taking a few moments to check for these eight common errors before you submit that app. College application mistakes come in many forms. Check and double-check every application before you submit it—whether submitting a paper application or applying online. You do not want your top school to reject you because you made a tiny mistake that could have been corrected with a few moments of proofreading.
Misspellings and Common Grammar Errors
Using a spell check is a good first step, but look for misused words like their and there or here and hear as well. No one expects 100% perfect grammar on an application, but checking for run-on or incomplete sentences and improper punctuation only takes a few moments and makes your application much easier to read.
When you get to the end of the application, you may be so eager to finish that it is easy to miss that signature line. Do not miss the signature, or the date! An omitted signature could lead to delays or cause your application to wind up on the top of the rejection pile.
Failure to Read Carefully
Before you fill out any portion of the application form, read and re-read what the application requests to make certain you answer correctly. Misreading county as country or area code as zip code are small mistakes, but it does not show a keen attention to details—something many colleges may want from their students.
Luckily, many colleges allow students to apply online now, so if your handwriting is truly abysmal, you have an alternative. However, if this is not an option, do whatever it takes to make your handwriting legible. Spend a few extra minutes on each page and type your essay. The person who reviews applications will be very grateful you put in the effort!
Using an Inappropriate Email Address
If your email address is an inside joke, based on a dirty pun or it is simply immature, it may be time to retire it and create one that is better suited to your status as a future college student. Luckily, with Gmail and other alternatives, you can obtain a new email address free of charge.
Forgetting to Review Transcript
You likely have to send a sealed transcript with your application, so you have to trust that your school got things right—right? While you may not be able to see the exact copy that will go out to the school you apply to, you can request to check your transcript. This is a very good idea. After all, even your school can make mistakes.
Not Including Required Attachments
Check to make sure that you do not need to include any additional attachments. If you are applying to certain sports teams or for scholarships, you may need to include documentation from the athletics department. Some schools require a letter of recommendation. Remember that each application is different and do not forget the attachments!
The college application process is rife with deadlines. There may be an early application deadline, late application deadline, financial aid deadline and any number of other dates that you need to remember. Don’t miss an important cut-off date and find your application rejected without even being read.
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