Mistakes to avoid – last in the series

After many days we’re finally at the tail end of the most mistakes and pet peeves listed by college admissions officers and high school guidance counselors on the National Association for College Admissions Counseling list serv.  There are a handful of other lists out there too, but we’ll save those for the future in the interest of getting back to your regularly scheduled programming!

Sending one, old sneaker the admissions office (the one foot in the door gimmick).
Sending a life sized sculpture of yourself to the admissions office with the figure holding an acceptance letter in hand.
An applicant mailed us a scale model replica of the campus clock tower. It was a stunning piece of work but couldn’t cover for the student’s poor academic record.

Don’t forget the kid whose cumulative GPA dropped from a 3.8 to a 3.6 because of a 1.5 GPA in the 8th semester, resulting in being dropped by a HIGHLY selective university.
How about over-doing your resume? They’ll come in with made-up clubs, or say that they are involved in things they aren’t- last year I was the senior class advisor, and kids would come in with their activity sheets stating all the hours they devoted to their class- not even realizing that I was the class advisor My other favorite- though I know that there are good college consultants who don’t pad resumes or over-do it with kids, BUT….. I can always tell if a student has used 2
college consultants in the area- one has the kids change babysitting to independent child care provider, and the other has kids write 3 page resumes, which include lengthy descriptions of every activity or interest, such as shopping, going to movies, etc.
My other pet peeve- When I am going over the paperwork that we ask kids to fill out prior to our rec letter meeting, and it is clearly written by mommy. Baby boy or girl does not even know the answers recorded on the form, because not only have they not completed the form, they haven’t even read it. I love this- especially at 9 PM when I am sitting in front of my computer with their materials in my lap hoping to really capture the kid in the best light possible for the colleges…..
Oops :
My favorite from my time working in admissions was a student who emailed a sample information request and forgot to insert the specific information. It looked something like this.
Dear insert college name,
I am writing to request information from your school. My GPA is x.xx. Please send me information.

Student did actually sign his name but we had little relevant information besides his name and address. Either way, it was a good joke in our office for that week and we contemplated sending a specialized email to him saying
Dear student name,
We appreciate your interest…etc etc.
college name

Hope you found these helpful – and that none of them happen to you!


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