Too often, students fail to answer the essay prompt. Rather than breaking down the question and outlining their thoughts so as to ensure that the answer is responsive, thorough and clear, they begin writing without adequate preparation and submit essays that are jumbled, grammatically incorrect, muddled and non-responsive...big mistake!
Students may inadvertently omit portions of the required documents or responses because they have not created a plan or system for a completely submitting the application. Outlines and checklists can help you avoid incomplete applications.
Although it is acceptable to re-use themes and ideas in submitting essays to different colleges, it is imperative that your responses make sense to the particular application at hand. Please do not submit your answer to LMU's supplement directly to U Washington without fact-checking and editing for appropriateness. If you want to major in Accountancy and the college you are applying to offers general Business Administration, you will not make a good impression if you cannot show the admission committee how their BusAd major relates specifically to your narrower interests and goals.
Consider spell-checking with the help of a dictionary rather than relying on an automatic computer spell check program. Context may not be clear to the computer but using your brain may lead you to your errors that can be corrected before you submit your work.
If you avoid reading the Mission Statement on the college website or in the view book, you miss an opportunity to discover the college's goals and objectives. Are they in line with your goals and objectives? Do you see a fit or are you not particularly interested in becoming the kind of person that will make University X proud? Avoiding the clues can lead to costly mistakes.
Although we must reach for what we want in life, applying to a slew of colleges that are outside of our reach leaves the impression that you do not know your own strengths and weaknesses, that you are fishing rather than making purposeful, carefully considered decisions or that you are not taking the process seriously. Develop a list of colleges that makes sense!