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How to Prepare a Standout College Application: Expert Advice that Takes You from LMO* (*Like Many Others) to Admit

Demystifying the process of completing a college application

Written by two former admissions officers at top universities and current admissions coaches, this book is a must-have for preparing a winning college application. The authors reveal the mystery in the back of what college admissions officers are looking for and show applicants how to leverage their credentials, stand out in the over-crowded applicants’ pool, and make a genuine, memorable impression. This is the book that will help the college-bound get off the “like many others” pile and onto the acceptance list.

  • Includes instructions and examples for every component of the college application, from writing the essay to answering questions like “Why do you wish to have to go to College X?”
  • Shows how to avoid underestimating the importance of critical features on any application
  • Includes the latest information on the Common Application 4.0 and corrects outdated, holdover advice still stressed in many other books

This book is filled with step-by-step advice that students and parents can use immediately and will refer to again and again.

10 Things Every Applicant Should Know about Applying to College

1. You need a plan. Don’t delay relating to your college applications. Working from a step-by-step plan is the key to working smarter, not harder.

2. You should be complete your application with the admissions officers in mind. Admission officers come to a decision on your admittance, so they are your audience. Keep them in mind as you complete your application.

3. Admissions officers want to know your story. That’s why a standout application conveys a compelling and coherent story about who you are and what you’ll bring to the college.

4. Passion is good. Admissions officers get a better sense of who you are if they learn what you are passionate about. Make sure your passions come through in your application.

5. Talent, initiative and have an effect on all demonstrate excellence. All admissions officers are looking for evidence of excellence in your endeavors. So give them that evidence by showing off your talents, highlighting where you’ve made something happen (initiative), and specifying how what you’ve done mattered (have an effect on).

6. A memorable application is rich in detail. If you wish to have your application to be memorable, it has to be an application that could have only been submitted by you. Details are what distinguish you from the thousands of other applicants who have similar academic records, the same test scores, and identical extracurricular activities.

7. An application is not just an essay. All too many applicants spend all their time working on their essays and neglecting all the other aspects of the application. But admissions officers imagine every aspect of your application. So pay equal attention to the other questions.

8. You can make the forms work for you. Your application is a set of forms and you have got to know how to use every form to your advantage. Did you know your school can submit a school profile that will provide an explanation for your school’s grading system and demonstrate that your 3.4 is more like a 4.0? Most applicants don’t, but you should. Take the time to educate yourself about the forms that comprise an application.

9. Every single thing on your application contributes to the impression you make on the admissions officer. You must pay attention to the details and make sure your application is error free.

10. Your credentials make you competitive for admission, but your application is what is going to ultimately get you in. All applicants appreciate the importance of their credentials, but few recognize the importance of their applications. The reality is that your application will make you stand out from the thousands (yes, thousands) of other applicants with equally impressive credentials.

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