By Madi Beumee
Distinguished Young Woman of New Jersey for 2015
6 Ways to Ace the College Application Process
It seems like just yesterday I was looking at and applying to colleges. Never did I think I would make it through the incredibly long process that is applying for colleges, let alone end up at a school that I love. As one who applied to fourteen colleges, I’ve had my fair share of college application stress and self-doubt when applying for what seemed like the fate of my entire future. Looking back at the process, I realized there are a few things that I found important to keep in mind during the college application season:
1. Proof-read your essay (and get anyone who is willing to help you do the same).Topic aside, your professionalism in your essay is incredibly important. Proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation makes it clear to the school that you are interested and that you take the application seriously.
2. Keep an organized schedule. Deadlines are deadlines and now with the internet there’s no blaming it all on the postal system. That being said, computers glitch and websites are slow. Make sure to give yourself not only a reasonable amount of time to get your applications in, but give yourself some technical difficulty leeway time too.
3. Save ALL your essays. The amount of essays colleges require on applications is abundant. Save them. After the application process comes the scholarship process which requires just as many essays if not more. When applying for scholarships, look through the essays you wrote for your college applications. I guarantee you that many of the topics are similar and with a little tweaking you’ll save yourself a lot of time!
4. Keep it classy online. Nowadays, with Google at one’s fingertips, more and more colleges are “Googling” their applicants. This quick click of a button gives them a more intimate look at the applicants life. Social media and anything else posted online usually shows up in the search so be sure to watch what you post online.
5. Visit the campus! Not only does visiting the campus give you an authentic feeling of what that school is really like, but some schools actually check to see if you have visited or shown any interest in the school before.
6. Be yourself. Everyone talks about the “perfect essay” that one must write in order to attend their dream school, but in actuality the perfect essay should be one that perfectly depicts who you are as an individual. There’s no use trying to pretend to be someone you are not on your application materials. Be proud of who you are and what you have accomplished over the span of your academic career thus far!
At the end of the day, it is important to remember that though the college application process is important, it is not the end all be all. It is important to remember that the results are not a judge of who you are as an individual. Everything happens for a reason and it’s important to trust that. You can do it!
Madi Beumee is a college freshman at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. Originally from Denville, New Jersey, Madi was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of New Jersey for 2015. Learn more about Madi here!