Your Ultimate College Application Checklist

Your Ultimate College Application Checklist


Three years of endless algebra homework and tiresome SAT prep are about to pay off! By following these helpful tips on sprucing up your college apps, you will have an application that you’ll be very proud to stamp and mail to your dream college.


Set up interviews!
One important factor to look into before submitting your college app is interviews! Setting up an interview with a representative from your top school shows that you have a strong interest and can also give you an edge over other applicants. And a helpful note: make sure to send out thank you notes post-interview. Reps will surely remember your amazing and intelligent self because of this small and thoughtful detail!

Don’t use texting shorthand!
We get it, Facebook and Twitter-speak are way more fun to type. This is fine when you’re socializing with friends, but using “ur” or “idk” on your app shows lack of concern.  It makes it seem as if you don’t care, when in reality that particular app might be for one of your top five colleges.

Rock that personal essay!
Aside from SAT scores, the personal essay might be one of the most crucial parts of your college app. According to Jo Doran and Allen Brizee, writers of, students should avoid clichés and stay original. Choosing a unique and distinctive topic will set you apart from the rest and help you stand out! They also advise students to concentrate on the first paragraph. You want to immediately grab the readers’ attention.

Remember to end on a positive note with your essay. Admission officers don’t want to pity you, they want to get to know the strong applicant who has overcome hardships and obstacles. So don’t be afraid to show them what you’ve learned and gained from these experiences!   

Add a separate activities list!   
Since college applications usually don’t supply enough room to highlight major activities you were involved in, a separate activities list is usually preferred. Chris Stout, a writer and expert in higher education, shares his advice in writing a proper activities list:

“Your application needs to prove that you’re not just a whiz in the classroom. Show off your interests, involvement in organized sports, music, clubs, community affairs, volunteer work and church activities. Don’t just make a laundry list of responsibilities and associations. Show that you are dedicated. Let the admissions officers see that you are capable of being dependable.” Chris definitely speaks the truth!

Proofred Proofread!!!
Proofreading might just be the most important thing to do before submitting your app! Don’t rely on spell check, because spell check can’t tell the difference between two distinct phrases like “roll model” and “role model.” When you proofread your work again and again, your eyes may grow accustomed to the errors, causing you to completely skim them over, so have a friend or first-time reader read over your work. They’ll be able to catch something you didn’t before.


Double check everything!
Double-checking is also essential when it comes to college apps. Simple procedures such as checking if the word count of your essay satisfies the word limit provided on an online application can mean the difference between an easy and painless application process, and a time-consuming and stressful one! Going over the word limit unfortunately leads to the online form cutting you off, which means that the admission officers won’t get to read the end of your unique and inspirational essay. A recent article blog post written by a high school senior’s mom in The New York Times, tells the story about how not noticing a minor detail on your online app can lead to some hectic consequences. 

After you send, don’t stress!
Once you send your application, you’ve done everything possible to perfect your college application, so just be happy and proud that you gave it your all. Don’t be nervous (at least try not to be)! Just relax and wait for those lovely acceptance letters to start piling into your mailbox!

-Grace Gavilanes 


***Editor’s Note: Any questions? Ask ME here and the team will find the answer for you!***