Skip to main content
25 answers
Asked Viewed 506 times Translate

What unique thing did you do to get accepted into your dream college??

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

16
Pros
16
0

25 answers


Updated Translate

Margaret’s Answer

For my college application essay, the prompt was, "what is an event that changed your life?" At the time, I had lost a significant amount of family members in a very short period of time which changed my life. However, I decided to write an essay that would humorous and memorable because honestly, that's what I wanted to think about at the time. So I wrote my college application essay about the time I accidentally shaved my eyebrow off when I was 13 years old. Not only did I get accepted into my dream school, but the admissions office saved a copy of my essay and referred to it each time I had to go in throughout my four years there.
2
Pros
1
0
Students
1
0
Updated Translate

John’s Answer

APPLY EARLY • THIS IS WORTH REPEATING • APPLY EARLY • INCASE I DIDN’T MAKE MYSELF CLEAR • APPLY EARLY

Arjun if you’re dedicated to attending a specific college or university, sending in an early application around November is possibly one of the best ways to increase your admission chances. This is because the college generally admit a much higher percentage of students during the universities EARLY DECISION (ED) and EARLY ACTION (EA) rounds. The risk associated with this reward, however, is that ED is binding, so if you are accepted, you must attend that college. EA, on the other hand, is non-binding, so students can still go elsewhere even if they’re admitted. EA applications typically provide less of an admissions advantage, but not always. Check out the most recent EA, ED, and “RD” (regular decision) acceptance rates at your dream university.

EIGHT TIPS FOR APPLYING TO YOUR DREAM COLLEGE

1.) ACADEMICS
A good high school GPA, especially combined with a challenging curriculum, is one of the most important admission factors at any institution of higher education. If you have the option, choose to take as many challenging courses as you can handle in high school, such as college prep, Advanced Placement (AP), honors, and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. Not only can these kinds of courses help you earn college credits, but getting good test scores on AP tests can dramatically improve your chances of acceptance. Whether you choose to take advanced courses or not, your top priority throughout all four years of high school should be to earn the best grades you possibly can.

2.) PREP FOR YOUR SAT/ACT
Followed by your GPA and the strength of your high school curriculum, your standardized test scores arguably matter the most for admission — although many schools have started to make these tests optional. Prior to and during your junior year of high school, you should spend sufficient time preparing for standardized tests by enrolling in prep courses, hiring a tutor, working through study guides, and taking practice tests. Once you’re ready, take both the SAT and the ACT. Colleges generally accept either test, and you may do better on one test than the other. If you don’t score well on your first attempts, you always have the option to retake them.

3.) MAKE IT KNOWN THIS IS YOUR DREAM COLLEGE
Colleges want to improve the percentage of admitted students who actually enroll, and one way they achieve this is by tracking demonstrated interest from applicants. If you are genuinely interested in attending a specific university, or if there are a few that you would enroll in if accepted, indicate your interest by visiting the campus, going on a campus tour, scheduling optional interviews, and personally reaching out to the appropriate admission representative. Other ways you can show your interest include reaching out to professors in relevant majors, applying early decision, following the school on social media channels, and participating in the school’s online seminars for prospective students. If you do reach out to school professionals, be they professors or admission officers, be sure you practice proper email etiquette. To learn more about effective communication strategies, check out Veronica Freeman’s article on email etiquette in college.

4.) LEADERSHIP MATTERS
College admissions officers admit they’re attracted to applicants who’ve been recognized by their teachers or peers for their leadership qualities. So if your kid is a student council president or a team captain, that’s terrific. Luckily, leadership comes in lots of guises, and it’s definitely not too late for your child to get immersed in an activity and be recognized by their teachers, coaches, or peers for their excellence. Perhaps they can pursue being a Boys/Girls club state representative, a senior patrol leader, a student mentor, or hold an office in the drama club. If they’re not currently involved in an activity they’re passionate about, encourage them to start a new group, club, or sport and get it accepted as a school-sponsored activity.

5.) KILLER COLLEGE ESSAY
College essays are an extremely important part of the application process because they provide one of the best opportunities for you to sell yourself and convey who you are outside of grades and test scores. This is why you should spend plenty of time developing a unique essay that stands out from the rest of the crowd. Before you begin writing, read the prompt and reflect on past experiences that are unique to your personal journey. Your goal should be to tell a personal, engaging story about something meaningful to you that also aligns with the essay prompt. Once you have an idea, begin writing with the intention of revising it into something more succinct later on. As you write and revise, get feedback on your essays from teachers and other trusted peers, then continue to edit and rewrite until you get it into a place you are comfortable with it.

6.) GREAT LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATIONS
Letters of recommendation are important to admission officers because they reveal things about your character that grades and test scores cannot. This is why when you ask for recommendations, you want to ask people who can describe your skills, accomplishments, and personality with positivity and enthusiasm. Consider school counselors, teachers, and/or employers that you have a close relationship with. Also, try to ask one of your teachers from junior year or a current teacher, as colleges often want a current academic perspective on you. If the teacher says yes, provide them with a list of achievements they can reference in the letter. Make sure to give your references at least one month before the deadline to complete and send letters. The earlier you ask, the better.

7.) YOU ARE NOT ALONE
A good guidance counselor can tell you about college planning sessions, scholarships, and college fairs. They can also give you the inside scoop on which colleges regard graduates of your child’s high school favorably and which schools tend to admit only one student (or none) each year. Ditto for which schools consider class rank — and which ones don’t look at rank. Counselors should know the published admittance rates for schools as well as unpublished info like how many students from your area applied and were admitted last year — and how many of those admitted applied early action. They may also steer you toward an excellent colleges or university you’ve never considered. And, since they know your school inside and out, they should be able to steer your child toward high school teachers who write great letters of recommendation (and away from teachers who tend to miss deadlines).

8.) CLEAN-UP YOUR ACT
In the digital age, admission officers are increasingly checking out applicants’ social media presence to learn more about them and to look for red flags that might deter them from accepting the student. With this in mind, make sure your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts are free of content you wouldn’t want a college to see before you apply to the school. Also, you should Google yourself to ensure there’s nothing floating around on the internet that would make you look bad.

The college application process can be confusing and complicated Arjun, and it’s not a process you should take on by yourself. While you research colleges, develop a college list, prep for standardized tests, and finalize your applications, and make sure to get ongoing assistance from people familiar with the admission processes, such as counselors and teachers. You should also consult parents, friends, older siblings, or relatives that could help you answer questions related to college applications and admissions.

Hope this was Helpful Arjun

Thank you! Arjun S.
Your Welcome Arjun, It was my Pleasure. Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I’m possible”! John Frick
Thank You for your continued Support Aun. We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone. John Frick
2
Pros
1
0
Students
1
0
Updated Translate

Angela’s Answer

Hi Arjun,

Volunteer opportunities/shadowing in the field that you're interested in can be helpful. Also, if you're able to do an alumni interview with the school you're interested in, that could be helpful too. Finally, if you're applying to colleges right now, perhaps highlight some of the creative things you did during quarantine (p.s. there's still plenty of time if you haven't already!).

1
Pros
1
0
Updated Translate

Tara’s Answer

It is important to get involved and take on leadership positions in high school. This will make you stand out from the crowd, if you have similar GPA's and ACT scores as other students.
0
Updated Translate

Jay’s Answer

Make sure you apply early, don't just focus on GPA, make sure you are a well rounded student with some volunteer and work experience. These experiences should provide you with transferable skills which should aid your application.
0
Updated Translate

Jay’s Answer

Make sure you apply early, don't just focus on GPA, make sure you are a well rounded student with some volunteer and work experience. These experiences should provide you with transferable skills which should aid your application.
0
Updated Translate

Ritika’s Answer

I think you should just be yourself! Talking about unique experiences in your life and how you've grown from them is something that colleges will really appreciate. I would also do tons of research in the specific college you're applying to - like what clubs, activities, classes, and professors you might want to be involved with on campus. This deep interest shows you're really dedicated and interested in being a student there.
0
Updated Translate

Alyssa K.’s Answer

Hi Arjun,

I hope all is well. Although I didn't do anything outside of the standard Admissions process,
one thing that is always great to do if possible is submit an "Optional Statement". This is a great document
for if you want to clarify something that they may question or if you have a story about yourself that
can help sell who you are and show the admissions committee why you should be accepted to their school.
I recommend looking on Goggle for some examples of optional statements.

I hope this helps, I wish you luck!

Alyssa Cole
0
Updated Translate

Ritika’s Answer

I think you should just be yourself! Talking about unique experiences in your life and how you've grown from them is something that colleges will really appreciate. I would also do tons of research in the specific college you're applying to - like what clubs, activities, classes, and professors you might want to be involved with on campus. This deep interest shows you're really dedicated and interested in being a student there.
0
Updated Translate

Mackenzie’s Answer

In addition to all the great recommendations already mentioned: reach out to your admissions counselor! Nothing is better than for an admissions counselor to put a name to a face. Whether your admissions counselor is visiting your High School in the Fall or hosting a virtual information session, try to engage with them before submitting your application. I reached out to mine via email to ask a question. Other friends of mine suggest mailing a handwritten thank you note after an information session. Chances are your admissions counselor is receiving and reviewing a lot of other applications so stand out (in a good way) but emailing or writing a letter ahead of time.
0
Updated Translate

Shay’s Answer

In your admissions essay, write about a unique experience. Talk about something and why it's important to you as it relates to the prompt. For one essay, I wrote about how I went up against players who were bigger and more highly recruited than me, but how I still succeeded. In another essay, I wrote about how I would miss a local burger place that wasn't in that school's area and I went on to describe the restaurant's smells, food, environment, and memories I made there. You can even write about crazy experiences you've had while you were younger, or fun and untraditional hobbies you like to do.
0
Updated Translate

Joseph’s Answer

Hi Arjun,

When I applied to my dream school, I was waitlisted and eventually rejected. I then chose to attend my local state school for a couple years, maintained a high GPA, and then applied to transfer to my dream school and got in. If you aren't able to get into your dream school directly from high school, just know that transferring is an option. I recommend maintaining a high GPA to increase your chances of acceptance, as well as looking at the course requirements for transfer to see if there are any classes you would need to take before you transfer.

0
Updated Translate

Asha’s Answer

I had a passion, did relevant activities with that passion, showed how I would continue that passion at my dream college, and then how I would better the world through the skills my college would give me.

I would think of your interests and try to come up with one key thing you want admissions officers to understand about you. Is it that you love experiencing new scenarios? Are you intellectually curious? Show that this key trait comes out in all of the ways you spent your time in high school and also how it has a larger impact.

Also, the "Why x school" prompt is super important: make sure it's tailored to that school and is really specific!

Good luck!
0
Updated Translate

Christine’s Answer

When you are applying to college (and this holds for your dream college), I think it is important to ask yourself why you want to go to a specific college and relatedly why a specific college is a good fit for what you want to accomplish during the next four years and in life. To the extent that you can show in your application materials that you are a good fit or match for what a school has to offer (e.g., through what you write in your essays or your past experiences), this will be helpful in securing admission.
0
Updated Translate

Shay’s Answer

In your admissions essay, write about a unique experience. Talk about something and why it's important to you as it relates to the prompt. For one essay, I wrote about how I went up against players who were bigger and more highly recruited than me, but how I still succeeded. In another essay, I wrote about how I would miss a local burger place that wasn't in that school's area and I went on to describe the restaurant's smells, food, environment, and memories I made there. You can even write about crazy experiences you've had while you were younger, or fun and untraditional hobbies you like to do.
0
Updated Translate

Mark’s Answer

I think it is important to first identify your interests and translate them to potential majors. As an example if you like mathematics and like to plan things, a business major might be a good option. Once your major is established, I would research online the colleges/universities that are highly rated for these majors and have strong career placement. In particular, you may want to look at institutions that have a strong alumni organization to leverage in your career search.

I also think it is important to identify colleges and universities in different price ranges. There may be an excellent school in-state that is substantially cheaper than an out of state school. Also, private schools are much more expensive than public institutions. The key is to identify schools, apply, see where you get in and how much financial aid you receive. What you want to avoid is an education that puts you into debt and financial hardship. The reputation of the college /university is important, but ultimately it is what you learn and your ability to communicate and sell yourself that will allow you to secure a professional position that will make you happy and have a sense of accomplishment.

0
Updated Translate

Ai’s Answer

Hi! I think it's difficult to know what exactly got me into my dream school. However, I believe that everyone has something unique/special about them. It doesn't have to be an academic skill/experience either. I think the difficulty of college applications is the self-reflecting and figuring out what makes you special and different than everyone else.
0
Updated Translate

Madhu’s Answer

Hi Arjun,

When I was applying to college two years ago, what I noticed is that colleges pick their students very very holistically. By this, I mean that they want an all rounded student, not just one who is great at their studies and gets good grades. Colleges want you to have experiences and be a leader and rise up to the occasion. It's also about quality over quantity. I would say the most unique thing I did that got me into my dream college is conveying my unique experiences into a killer essay. I started a club in high school and I was also a high achiever in the sport I was playing. I used these two to show in my essay how I overcame unique struggles and difficulties such as injuries I got during my sport and having to raise funding for the club I started. Use these experiences and don't just talk about the achievements you got through these experiences but the steps on how you were able to achieve your goal. Also talk about the drawbacks and how you overcame these, it shows recruiters that you can overcome hardships and that you are willing to work for what you want.

Hope this helps!!

0
Updated Translate

Asha’s Answer

I had a passion, did relevant activities with that passion, showed how I would continue that passion at my dream college, and then how I would better the world through the skills my college would give me.

I would think of your interests and try to come up with one key thing you want admissions officers to understand about you. Is it that you love experiencing new scenarios? Are you intellectually curious? Show that this key trait comes out in all of the ways you spent your time in high school and also how it has a larger impact.

Also, the "Why x school" prompt is super important: make sure it's tailored to that school and is really specific!

Good luck!
0
Updated Translate

Adil’s Answer

Hi Arjun,

This is a great question. I believe there is not one specific thing I did that got me into my dream school. Some tips I would give is to apply early, even if some colleges say that they do not do rolling admissions. Also, I think it is extremely important to tell your story in the essay portions of the application. They want to know you, so explain everything!
0
Updated Translate

Theodore’s Answer

The Most important thing is to elaborate on what you're passionate about and how you demonstrate that. For me personally, it was Taekwondo, but the important thing is that you can talk about what makes you unique.

I know others have said it as well, but get started early. College essays can take a long time but are a great opportunity to elaborate on what makes you stand out from the other candidates.
0
Updated Translate

Jonathan’s Answer

Great question! I had about ten schools on my list when I applied. I had the dream school. The best and most realistic school that I wanted that was closest to my dream. Then I had another set of schools that I could get into that were acceptable and all comparable schools. Then I had a couple of safety schools.

My dream school was Princeton. I had everything Princeton wanted in a student and I was sure I could prosper there. However I wasn’t confident in my GPA or test scores to get in. So my dream school was the University of Pennsylvania. It was also an Ivy League school it was located in Philadehia a place I love and since I was a city guy being in the city of Philly worked great. However I hit a snag. For many people the decision to pick a college is a family decision for others it is the individuals decision. For me my parents wanted to make the decision for medespite the fact that the I had done all the tease arch knew everything about what I wanted. So we all went to the guidance department where my parents told my counselor what they thought was best for me the counselor said Davidson College was a good choice for me. I fit Davidson’s profile but I knew the University of Pennsylvania was the best fit for me. They decided to take on a college tour but only in the SE of the US where they said I was going. In truth this what my stepfather wanted me to be not me. So we fought the whole trip they wanted me to go to the University of the South in TN. I said if this was the choice he could pay for it and I would go to Davidson. So I applied early decision to Favidson College got in ended up having to pay for it myself. I had a good but not great college experience. So be forewarned. Make your own call it’s your life.
0
Updated Translate

Ram’s Answer

I submitted a dramatic read of 2 poems in my art portfolio, which I am sure helped me out with college admissions. Try to be unique, while staying true to yourself and what you like to do.
0
Updated Translate

Ai’s Answer

Hi! I think it's difficult to know what exactly got me into my dream school. However, I believe that everyone has something unique/special about them. It doesn't have to be an academic skill/experience either. I think the difficulty of college applications is the self-reflecting and figuring out what makes you special and different than everyone else.
0
Updated Translate

Holly’s Answer

Hi Arjun,

All those answers have some great advice! For me personally, I found that leadership positions I held and volunteer opportunities I completed helped my application stand out. Universities love to see your involvement in your community and at your school. I joined a variety of school clubs and held a couple of leadership positions within those clubs. Additionally, I signed up for a lot of volunteer opportunities within my community. I believe these activities helped me because they showed my university who I was and what I was passionate about. Your accomplishments outside of the classroom are just as important as those within.

Of course it always helps to have good grades and SAT/ACT scores, but those numbers don't show a university the qualities of an applicant like the other factors do.

Hope this helps, good luck with the admissions process!
0