The dos and don’ts of applications


Gilda McGee Parker, an assistant director of admissions for the traditional undergraduate at Queens University, works on college applications, March 4, 2008, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Queens University has received 37 percent more applications than they had last year. (John D. Simmons/Charlotte Observer/MCT)

Emily Rey, Author

The college application process can be long, scary and full of unanswered questions. Do I say this? Am I supposed to tell them that? How many schools do I apply to? Here are some pointers to hopefully answer a couple of those questions you have.

Do – Get organized. Make sure you know all the activities you have done, classes you have taken and other items you want to put in your application.

Don’t – Put all your eggs in one basket. Nothing is a sure thing, so it is important to have back-ups.

Do – Start early. Give yourself as much time as you can to write your essays and make sure your information is correct.

Don’t – Be afraid to ask questions. Parents and counselors are here to help you during this whole process. Also, ask the admissions directors at universities questions. They will see how interested you are in their school and may remember you when they read your application.

Do – Get in touch with teachers. You should go talk to a teacher about a recommendation letter before you request them on the Common Application.

Don’t – Forget about scholarship applications. Many of those are due around the same time as college applications. Some go all year, but it is good to at least get yours early.

Do – Research each college you are applying to. It is important to know the application requirements for each school you wish to attend.

Don’t – Skip out on Naviance. There is a ton of useful information on there, and it could be very helpful in your application process.

Do – Apply to dream schools and safety schools. You never know what could happen in the college admissions process, so just go for your top school. Also, apply to schools you feel you will have an easier time being accepted into, just in case.