Six College Application Mistakes to Avoid

Kristen Seikaly
Kristen Seikaly

Our collaborative team of content writers and researchers stay up-to-date on the latest news to help you ace your applications. We hope you enjoy the blog.

Before you hit submit, we have a few warnings! These common college application mistakes don’t have to happen to you.

Sometimes students are so focused on the substance of their application that they overlook simple things that have just as much of an effect on their odds of admission. Proofreading and time management are important in college, and if your application doesn’t highlight these traits, then it might not matter how great your application makes you seem otherwise.

Help yourself out in the long run by taking note of these six college application mistakes to avoid.

Not proofreading

Spelling and grammar mistakes may be amongst the easiest to correct. Whether it’s for essays or just making sure you spell your name correctly, proofreading can go a long way.

Not finishing your application

Similar to not proofreading, make sure you read over your application to ensure that you’ve finished it! This includes letting your guidance counselor and teachers know where you’re applying to ensure that they send key materials like transcripts and recommendation letters.

Doing anything at the last minute.

From your transcripts to your letters of recommendation to the application itself, be sure to turn everything in early. Turning in anything at the last minute demonstrates a lack of planning, and can reflect negatively on you as an applicant. It could be said that it’s better late than never, but in reality it’s better early overall.

Not showing a strong interest in the college

Maybe your “why this college” essay was vague. Maybe you applied to the college, but didn’t visit it or interview. If you don’t demonstrate a high IQ in a college, then a college probably won’t demonstrate much interest in you in return.

Sending poor nonessential information

While this most immediately relates to supplemental materials, this can apply to your test scores, too. Not all colleges require standardized tests these days, so make sure to check if the college you’re applying to does. If you did well on your tests, it may help you to send them anyway. If you didn’t, it can hurt your chances.

Not highlighting your achievements

Instead of sending bad information, it’s important to play up the good information about you! Many students don’t want to brag or overstate their accomplishments, but if there’s ever a time to highlight your achievements, it’s on college applications.

Remember, these small but significant details can save you a lot of trouble and heartache in the end. If you know that any of these may be difficult for you, seek help through a good college counselor. They can give you the tools you need to stay organized, be thorough, and remain on top of deadlines.

Questions? Let us know!