It all depends on the school – some will trash any additional info if it’s not requested. Call the school and make sure you ask someone in authority to get a definitive answer.
Not usually! The colleges/universities will tell you what they want. Make sure you follow through and give them everything they request. Typically “extra stuff” is discarded. My suggestion would be not to send in anything extra. Even when you are writing the essay, you have to stick to the number of words they request. Frequently the extra words are not read or even eliminated.
Only if requested! The admissions office does not need more materials than they require as they are already overloaded with paperwork and it will probably end up in the “unread” pile. Always think quality not quantity.
If the material is substantive and helps fill out the picture of you being presented to the colleges than it can be helpful. In general, the application should be focused on portraying as fully and as effectively as possible who you are, what you have done, and what you have to offer that school community. If you have supplemental material that does that, that reinforces and strengthens the central components of your picture than it is all to the good, but if it little more than a list of additional activities, things in which you have dabbled and adds no substance, than it can only serve to blur the core picture you seek to present and ultimately distract the reader and detract from your application. Quality over quantity is no small factor in an admissions process that involves the review of literally thousands of applications annually.
I counsel my clients to use caution when adding extra materials to an application. It is one thing if a school has requested further documentation. Otherwise, it is a case of less-is-more when it comes to your file. Admissions offices have only so much time to read each folder. A fat folder could be viewed as a burden, a red flag or a really interested applicant; depending on the reader/college. Always check with the institution for their policy and you’ll be fine.
This is always a matter of circumstance. If a school is bombarded with a large number of apps, adding ” nice to know” info will actually hurt your admission chances. If you are using the Common App you can always add information that you think is really important in the proper area of the writing section. You should make sure that this info does NOT repeat what you have already revealed.
Some colleges allow it, some don’t. If you send supplemental material it must actually add substance to your application. You don’t want to waste the time of the person reading the applications by sending something frivolous that does nothing to enhance your application. It should also not be big and bulky, nor should it be long (they are trying to get through a large number of applications and may not have the time to watch/listen to a lengthy recording).
In general, supplemental materials are not required. Therefore, it would not be fair for committees to evaluate them for some students and not others. Most counselors don’t even have time to look at the supplemental materials.
It can be helpful if it adds new information or it provides evidence of talents and skills that you claim to have.
I would encourage students to include supplemental materials only if they would be essential in giving an admissions officer a better sense of you (pertinent photographs or drawings, for instance) or to explain circumstances that might have affected your school performance (severe illness, death of a relative, etc.)
if you are planning to submit additional materials that not requried by colleges as part of the common application, you should be careful to submit materials that may not attract positive attention from the admisisons office.
Submitting supplemental materials can be positive, depending on what the student’s
sending to the school. Portfolio’s, examples of artwork, music, personal video related to achievemnets, etc…would enhance your application. It’s not guaranteed that it will be reviewed by the receiving school.
Research the admissions page of the college’s website. Most admissions officers do not want supplemental materials–they are having a difficult time filing all of the required bits of information in any case. Of course, in some cases (such as the arts supplement) certain materials may be required such as a portfolio or a CD. Follow the directions always. If you have a specific question, then contact the admissions officer responsible for your area by email and they will be happy to answer your questions.
is an old expression that admissions officers use. Be careful and strategic as to what additional , unrequested, information that you might include. If the school allows you to send/upload forms/resumes that support a specific talent such as music, art, theater, sports, then it is indeed in your best interests to include such information. Even if you do not plan on majoring in music, dance or theater, all schools hope to have a diversity of talent on their campuses. As for sending in some additional recommendation/reference letters, consider asking individuals who can write from a new perspective that might enhance your overall application. Those letters need to be adding new information about either your character or talent to your folder, whether from an employer, someone who might have supervised your community service or an acting/dance/art teacher.
What are supplementary materials? In college applications, supplementary materials could include CDs of your musical performances, DVDs showcasing your acting skills, blogs, websites showing your artwork or writing, etc. Visual artists, writers, and performing artists can really benefit from submitting supplemental materials because they quality of their work can be difficult to ascertain within the four corners of an application.
What are supplementary materials? In college applications, supplementary materials could include CDs of your musical performances, DVDs showcasing your acting skills, blogs highlighting your writing skills, and websites presenting your artwork or writing, etc. Visual artists, writers, and performing artists can really benefit from submitting supplemental materials because the quality, depth, and breadth of their talents can be difficult to ascertain within the four corners of an application.
Based on what I’ve seen with students, it is a nice touch to include supplemental materials with an application, particularly if a student’s talent is in a non-athletic area. Supplemental materials may included a DVD, CD, website or other means of helping college admissions officers – or perhaps members of the appropriate department – learn more about the candidate. Colleges are very straightforward about what to submit and how to submit it, so students should seek guidance on the college website. The most common answer is that the college welcomes submissions but does not give back any materials. Certainly, a talented student should try to submit materials but only following the instructions of the particular college. He or she has nothing to lose and perhaps something to gain. There are even independent counselors who advise students in the arts and might change his or her advice depending on the talent and profile of the candidate.
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