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Part III – Tips For Applying to College

Posted by on Monday, March 8, 2010 in Admissions Committee, College Application Guides.

This is part III of a three part series entitled The Dos and Don’ts of Applying to College.  In the first two entries I covered the Dos and the Don’ts for the college search process. In six months time you will finally be applying to colleges, so when that time comes here a few final thoughts for the application process that I hope will help:

  • Have an appropriate email address.  You may laugh but I’ve see far too many awful sounding email addresses, ones that I can’t even repeat to my mother.  So drop the and….
  • Create an appropriate email account for all colleges.  Some students find it helpful to designate one account as their college application account.   Most universities send important emails to you, some colleges even send acceptances via email or incomplete notifications, so at the very least make sure your spam folder isn’t killing our attempts to contact you.
  • Don’t Be afraid to brag about yourself.  This is your application and guess what it? It’s all about YOU, so please tell me about all of your accomplishments, assuming these have occurred during high school.  I don’t want to know that you were your Kindergarten class president (as I had one student tell me a few years back)- congrats but  I’m sure your mom ran your campaign.  Enough said.  We just want the high school activities.
  • Write an essay that teaches us more about who you are. The essay is not your chance to impress us with ten dollar words you found in a thesaurus.  The essay is our chance to learn more about you.  Again be authentic and be yourself, it will all work out.
  • If a college tells you “it’s recommended” then listen to their advice. Many colleges will recommend SAT subject tests, or an additional essay or an interview, because each must have a purpose for that individual application process.

I hope that this was helpful for any of you juniors (or younger students).  If you have any specific question feel free to post away.  Thanks!

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  • coley

    March 12th, 2010

    I have been searching sites like and for volunteer ops that help pay for college, the sites are helpful as far as financial aid stuff… but cant seem to find much about state vlntr programs to pay for college… does anyone know of any of these? Thanks

  • 2014Mom

    March 13th, 2010

    I wonder why no one ever comments on this blog. Most other admissions blogs get TONS of comments.

  • Thom

    March 15th, 2010

    2014Mom, Good question. I’m not sure either to be honest. We’d love to have more dialogue here, and we try and answer questions and comments that readers post. Thanks for being one of them!

  • 2014Mom

    March 16th, 2010

    One thing I notice about the Vandy Blog compared to some other more active blogs is that your comments do not post immediately. Maybe that makes a difference to some? I assume you want to make sure comments are appropriate but maybe you should consider immediate posting and then just remove if necessary.
    Just a thought, but I enjoy the blog!

  • sarahbelll

    March 29th, 2010

    I have been looking around and actually am impressed by the amazing content here. I work the nightshift at my job and it is boring. I’ve been coming right here for the past couple nights and reading. I just needed to let you know that I have been enjoying what I have seen and I look ahead to reading more.