background image

5 Things You Need On Your College Application

JUN 01, 2018 • 13 min read

Application Must Haves Header

This may sound devastatingly obvious, but knowing what to share on your college application is vital to gaining admission into your dream school.

Literally thousands of students apply to US colleges each year but in order to receive the omniscient and sought after acceptance letter to your dream college, you need to have everything in order.

In 2017, Stanford received 44,073 applications and accepted only 2,050 students.


Harvard had 39,506 hopeful students apply and accepted only 2,056 students.

That's a total of 79,473 sad, rejected applicants.

There are literally thousands upon thousands of rejections each year. So you need to make sure you're including all of the required information to stand out on your application, not blend in to the masses.

But how?

Here's a simple college application tip to start you off:

Research your college and know what and who they're looking for.

Surprisingly, this beginners tip will make your application so much simpler. It's important to know that different colleges are looking for different types of applicants, so you need to craft your applications to match each school.

However, in saying that, gaining admission to your dream university is still not easy.

And despite the amount of time and effort it would save, and the fact that we're all craving one so, so badly, there's no one correct college application formula that guarantees admission.

Essay 1

Calm down!

Before you begin stressing, listen up:

While there's no one formula to gain admission, there are some key elements that all college applications need.

If you make sure you're ticking these important elements off as you complete your application, you'll go a long way towards gaining admission.

So, without further adieu, here's some tips on how to write a university essay - including five key aspects which you should always be trying to feature on your college application.

1. Honesty and Character

Essay 2

While some aspects of your college application, such as SAT/ACT score and high school transcripts, are limited by how much character insight they can offer, your college application should paint a clear and honest picture of who you are.

Aspects such as the admissions essays and extracurricular activities are the perfect place to give perspective your personality, passions and drives.

These aspects are a perfect chance to add depth to your application and share something that is important to you, something that makes you different.

Your honesty and character on your application should convey to the admissions committee why you would be a good fit at the college. Clearly explain why your amazing personality and passions will contribute to and enhance life in the campus community.

Sharing a lifeless application, with no character, honesty or personality, will cause your college application to be left for dead in a pile of other rejected applications. This is not where you want to be.

You must stand out from the applicant pool.

Be different.

Be you!

Key Points:

  • Honesty is imperative
  • Make the most of your admissions essay and extracurriculars to show off who you are
  • Don't shy away from your true character
  • Show off and focus on your passions beyond academics
  • Be brave - dare to be different.

2. Passion

Essay 3

Hand in hand with character and personality, you should be sharing your interests and passions on your application.

Show off your true colours and let them know what you're passionate about.

Here's why:

You gain admission into colleges because you display an eagerness and desire to pursue a career in an area which you care for deeply. Not because you have a strong academic record.

Above all else, college admissions boards seek a truly passionate applicant.

Passion is one element every application can not do without.

Your whole application should be showcasing the enjoyment you get from exploring areas you are applying for - all your extracurriculars, essays and even your secondary school classes can and should display interests and passion.

However, it's important that you clearly show you are not only passionate about gaining admission, but that you are driven by a much deeper passion for learning and pursuing a future in a field you care about.

In order to strengthen your college application even more, you should cater your applications to each university. In your admissions essays, you can make reference to why your passions would best be supported at the college to which you're applying.

This can help admissions officers understand the type of student you will be on campus. An important element of your application.

Key points:

  • Be passionate about your future
  • Where you can, share news of you acting on your passions
  • Don't come across as passionate about admission, be passionate about your prospective life at college and what you hope to learn.

3. Academic Improvement, not perfection

Essay 4

With all this talk about admission, you might worry about the kind of grades required to get accepted into your dream college.

You might be agonising that your grades aren't perfect or they aren't as strong as you'd hope they'd be.

Well, I got something to say:

Quit that stress'n right now I tells ya!

While, obviously, they can assist you in gaining admission, perfect grades are not essential.

It is a requirement that you submit a high school transcript when applying to college. From as young as aged 13, your grades will be laid bare for the world to see in all their glory.

However, what's most important to many colleges is not that your grades are perfect but that you've displayed a solid improvement in grades during your time at high school. This is a key trend admissions boards want to see. The graph of your average scores consistently scaling upwards.

A steady incline in your results suggests that throughout your years at high school you uncovered and nurtured an inquisitive nature and a passion for learning.

This is a trait that colleges tend to regard highly in the US.

After all, colleges are not looking for a well-trained robot who can recite answers from a textbook, they are looking for a passionate, self-motivated learner who will be an asset to campus life.

Additionally, there are plenty of opportunities on your college application where you can compensate for lower grades including you extracurriculars, essays, leadership development and recommendation letters. Where you can, hammer your extracurricular passions and successes.

Thank me later.

Key points

  • Perfect scores are NOT a requirement
  • Colleges are equally if not more interested in a well-rounded, passionate candidate
  • Where you can, show off your interests and hard work beyond high school.

4. A strong SAT or ACT score

Essay 5

This is the most important academic element of your college application, more so than your high school GPA.

Here's why:

Your GPA is circumstantial as there are many elements that can effect how good or bad your GPA is. For example, elements such as where you attended high school, how your school chose to grade you, and any number of personal circumstances can influence your GPA.

Alternatively, all students who take the SAT or ACT do so under the similar circumstances. Moreover, all test takers are graded comparatively. Meaning there is no ambiguity about how well you scored.

While colleges don't prefer one test to the other, your results will scale you in relation to all other applicants.

Nailing the SAT can take you a loooong way towards gaining admission into your dream college, so it's important to do everything you can to prepare. We recommend the best way to improve is to sit as many practice tests as possible.

However, before you start worrying about getting a perfect score, there's more to learn:

Much like academic scores a perfect SAT or ACT score will help you greatly but it is not required to gain admission.

Nor does a perfect score guarantee your entry into your dream college.

While the score you receive is an essential component of your application, if you don't achieve the score you were hoping for, it's not the end of the world.

Again, there are plenty of places on your application to compensate for a disappointing score - essays and extracurriculars in particular. What's more, there are plenty of opportunities to resit the test and improve your score.

In 2017, international students can sit the SAT in May, June, October, November and December.

As for the ACT, you have the option to sit in April, June, September, October and December, so there are many opportunities to resit both tests and achieve the score you are hoping for.

Key points

  • ACT and SAT scores are more valuable to admissions officers than your high school GPA.
  • Start preparing early by sitting practice tests.
  • Know that the perfect score is NOT a requirement and does not guarantee entry.
  • Your test score is marked comparatively against all other applicants.

5. Help

Essay 6

It may be hard to admit it, but believe you me, everyone needs help when applying for a US college.

There are so many layers, requirements and optional add-ons in your college application that something as simple as another set of eyes looking over your work could help immensely.

In fact:

Getting help could end up being the difference between admission and rejection.

Often when you're so caught up in something and you've been involved so heavily, it's hard to look at it with fresh eyes, even after taking a break. This is where help can be imperative.

The support of others can be the new perspective you need to take your regular application to a 100% certified kick-ass, no-chance-of-rejection application.

With the help of others, it's important that you start preparing your application early. This will leave plenty of time for editing and refining as you draw closer to the application deadline. If you want to take this tip to the next level, you can ring in the help of experts. Ex-admission officers, English grammar experts, leadership consultants, tutors, the whole dang sha-bang.

Seeking the support of experts who know their stuff will take all the guess work out of your college application. Allowing you to rest assured you're including all the correct information and you're not losing any sleep.

Key points

  • Get help, no matter how hard you find it to reach out.
  • Early prepare is vital
  • Expert help can make a huge difference!

Final Thoughts

Crafting your college application can be a tricky process and even after reading all the helpful blogs in the world it can still seem a daunting experience.

Remember, you need to stand out and the way you do that is by being you!

Most colleges are looking for self-motivated, passionate, inquisitive students who are different from the everyday candidate.

Overall, along with all of the aforementioned elements, the most important thing to include on your college application is your true personality!

Good luck and godspeed.

Why not get a little extra advice on crafting the perfect application and for tips on how to write admissions essays or check out out latest eBook - yours for free!

background image

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our email newsletter to get the latest updates delivered in your inbox!