With college admissions being more competitive now than ever before, students simply cannot afford to be careless and not review their work before submitting. As admissions teams are assessing thousands of applications, silly mistakes can cause your application to end up in the wrong file – the round one.
College Application Proofreading Tips:
Don’t procrastinate. One, you’ll give yourself plenty of time to calmly look over all aspects of your application and make any changes or revisions that may be necessary without feeling added pressure. Two, you’ll be able to successfully meet the application deadlines for your desired schools. In addition, admissions teams have read plenty of applications to know when an application has been carefully put together by a responsible student, and when an application been hastily thrown together at the last second.
Allow a parent, teacher, or counselor to look over your application. (Note that this is NOT the same as having them DO IT for you…you are the one applying to college, not them.) Having someone read over your application is a great way to further work out any kinks – they’ll be able to notice grammatical and spelling errors, make note of any omissions of required information, and will be able to provide valuable feedback on your application essay. Also, while utilizing spellcheck is the norm (and typically works well) don’t assume that the program will pick up on every little detail. A fresh pair of eyes looking over your work will be able to negate any possible embarrassment from commonly misused words that often slip by the spellcheck (than/then, accept/except, there/their/they’re, etc.).
Lastly, while cutting and pasting can be a terrific tool, and recycling essays can be a huge time saver, both acts tend to enable carelessness…with the application playing such a huge role in your future you cannot just set it and forget it. Many times, prospective students will simply plug previously used passages into place on an application for a different school, not proofreading their work and instead taking for granted that if the essays worked once, that they will work again. Consequently, a common error occurs on the ‘Why Our School?’ essay when the application is submitted but the student forgets to change the name of the school. Seems simple, right? Yet, this error happens more often than it ever should. Embarrassing? Absolutely. Detrimental to your chances? Definitely. And, as we just had rivalry games in college football on Saturday, can you imagine telling the University of Michigan how badly you want to be a Buckeye? Writing to Oregon State to tell them you’ve always wanted to be a Duck? Or working to convince the University of Alabama that you’ve had your heart set on being a Tiger?
Read, review and then proofread your applications again. Take care to submit your best work, the best reflection of yourself…and good luck!