10 Ways to Impress a College Admissions Official

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared in the Transfer Edge curriculum. Find more helpful resources like this that make transferring less tricky by enrolling in Transfer Edge today.

The first step in impressing any admission official begins with the application process. Here are a few tips to help you get accepted at the school of your choice.

1. Begin Early

Don’t wait until it’s time to transfer to start doing things to get your application noticed. Send applications early, not the day before the deadline.

2. Be Truthful

Make sure you are completely honest about your accomplishments and goals. Don’t be dishonest about your test scores, grades, or the extent of your extracurricular activities. Eventually, the admissions officials will find out the truth, and you won’t be accepted.

3. Don’t Stretch Yourself Too Thin

Don’t join every club at your college thinking that the volume will look good on your admissions application. Admissions officials are likely to feel that you didn’t devote much time or effort to any organization. Instead, select a few of your favorites and give them your all.

4. Clarify Contributions

Be sure to explain your contributions and involvement in each organization on your application. Don’t assume that admissions officials are familiar with an organization. Use specific examples to describe your participation.

5. Follow Directions

Read all directions before you begin to write. Failing to read directions can lead to critical errors. Even with a strong GPA, not following directions will leave a bad first impression.

6. Be Neat

Misspellings or poor grammar can be the difference between an admissions interview and a letter of rejection. Applications containing spelling and grammatical errors convey the image that you are not serious about admission into the school. Do yourself a favor by using your spelling and grammar toolbars and asking others to proofread your work.

7. Use Your Own Ideas

Chances are that if you see something in a book or on the Internet you think is new or innovative, it’s likely thousands of other people did as well. It’s fine to use others’ ideas to help get your creative juices flowing, but under no circumstances should you plagiarize.

8. Don’t Leave Blanks

Most questions on applications are required. If you leave questions unanswered, your application will be automatically placed in the rejection pile.

9. Keep It Short and Simple

There’s a lot to be said for those who get to the point. If the application requires a 200-word essay, don’t write 400 words to impress them with how much you know. Remember, yours is not the only application the admissions official must read. Show that you value the reader’s time by keeping things short and simple.

10. Make the Most of Phi Theta Kappa

Your involvement in Phi Theta Kappa will help you stand out in the crowd. By being an active member, you can spotlight not only your academic achievement but also your involvement in service, leadership, and scholarly fellowship. A well-rounded student is often a welcomed addition to any senior college campus.

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