Trying to impress someone behind the desk in the admissions office of your dream college takes a lot of time and patience. You’re about to sell all you have to offer to this stranger through whatever you can fit in a college application. The process can take from one month to three months, mainly depending on the kind of student you are and how much time you choose to take on the document. Some high school seniors decide to apply for early admission while others follow the regular deadline. Regardless of which method you choose, the mission of any high school senior is to have that perfect college application.

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A large majority of colleges and universities opt for online applications but some still accept the old-fashioned manila envelope with your application, essay, recommendation letters and any other documents they may ask for. Since this is one of the biggest steps into the world of adulthood, exploring new things, meeting new people and expanding your mind, it’s imperative that your application is flawless. How to perfect your application is up to you, but here are five mistakes that you should completely avoid.

5  Spelling

One of the more obvious mistakes you want to avoid are spelling errors. Use the spelling bee you won in middle school as your motivation to make sure you’re spelling words like “accomplishments” and “achievements” correctly.

4  Grammar

Along with spelling errors, watch out for any grammatical errors you might accidentally make on your application or essay. Revising by reading it aloud is the most beneficial way to prevent this.

3  Last minute recommendation letters

Don’t wait until the day before your application is due to ask your teachers, counsellors, bosses or mentors for a recommendation letter. Writing these letters takes time and college admission officers are looking for what makes you unique; these letters are the best way to show what you’re capable of. Make sure whoever is writing your recommendation letter knows exactly how long they have to write it so it’s not rushed. 

2  Incorrect address

When filling out these college applications, make sure you’re addressing them to the correct person and office. These applications are for the admissions office, not the Anthropology professor in room 4329.

1  Missing the deadline

The biggest mistake you can make is not sending your application in. Your senior year of high school is stressful and forgetting things is normal, but you have to prioritize something as imperative as sending your college applications before the deadline if you want to start the upcoming semester. Set reminders on your phone or email, or begin your application at the same time as a friend to make sure you’re up-to-date. 

Cindy Ramirez