Biggest mistakes part III: applications

Another excerpt from the National Association for College Admissions Counselling list serv (high school counsellors and college admissions officers) of pet peeves and biggest mistakes students make in the admissions process.  My thanks again to the counsellor who posted these, making it possible to share them so quickly with all of you! Todays topic: applications:

Being inundated with voicemails, e-mails or snail mail that is a disingenuous attempt at racking up points for expressed interest.
Cakes, Pies, Gifts or other unsolicited attempts at bolstering an application that are counterproductive.
Sending something to College B that should have gone to College A.
Online apps not proofread.
Online apps with not one capitalization and/or using IM shorthand.
In the days of paper applications, the occasional app would arrive written in two different colored pen inks, or in pencil.
Applying to one college as a Nursing major and another in Engineering, and then a few for Education.
Not knowing how to properly address an envelope.
Not believing me when I tell you that your high school peers, one year from now, will mostly be people you used to know, and that letting them dictate your college choices is a bad idea.
It always amazes me that kids today have no idea how to write a correct greeting for a letter or email. It drives me nuts to read: Dear Mr. John. J. Smith, instead of Dear Mr. Smith, It’s little, but it still gets to me….
Handing transcript and letter requests for schools that they decide to never apply to.
A student of mine put on his Activities List that he spends time lifting weights to improve his abs
Proofreading error: I had a student put the wrong graduation year on applications to California State schools. I believe they didn’t think he was old enough for college and denied him at all campuses. He had to jump through many hoops, including enrolling in the summer term instead of fall.
Looking at me blank-faced about the process for opening your recommendation file when I know that you sat through a 60 minute presentation going over it in minute detail.
An applicant used a Big Time University recommendation form (we were still using paper applications at the time) – the applicant used Whiteout to cover Big Time University and wrote the name of my university (also an Ivy) in blue ballpoint pen across the white out – an excellent way to signal the admissions committee that you’re well-organized and genuinely interested in their university
Where do I buy stamps for the envelopes?
How to address an envelope: we had to do a visual of an envelope to include in our packets.
A parent who filled out an application and placed the father’s name and social security as the applicant and not the son’s. Both had the same name, but different socials.

Once again, do these seem reasonable, fair, helpful?  Let me know…and more to come!


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