Plan ahead when applying for college

Ryan McCarthy, Sports Editor

Senior Mac Francini chose to procrastinate on his applications, and based on his experience he would not recommend repeating his strategy.

“I wanted to enjoy my summer, so I decided to delay my application process until the school year started. It really shortened the amount of time I had to work on them,” Francini said. “I wouldn’t recommend procrastinating because it adds more stress that you don’t need on top of the application process.”

Many students at Branham will be leaving for college after this school year, and have already gone through the rigors of the application process, but others chose to procrastinate, leaving them in a nightmarish situation.

Applications for most universities require SAT and ACT scores, a letter of recommendation and a personal essay. If students take time and care for these applications, they are able to submit their best work to schools. Still, knowing the amount of work and time needed to form a well-crafted application doesn’t motivate students enough to get ahead, leaving them a shortened amount of time to write, compile and submit their applications.

When students procrastinate on something as substantial as a college application, they tend to miss a lot of what can mean the difference between acceptance and rejection. To the surprise of many administrators, many mistakes are crucial and would have been noticed by the early submitter.

According to US News, most applicants most often come up short in following directions, proofreading and essay quality. Admission directors are mostly surprised at kids who turn in essays that are not related to any prompts that are provided. Robert Barkley, director of admissions at Clemson University, was stunned to receive unrelated personal information when asking for international students’ information.

“In one case we got Bank of America,” says Barkley. “And where we asked for the number of the (international students’) visa, we got the credit card number. We were not impressed.”

Spelling errors have proved to be costly, as Oberlin College’s dean of admissions Debra Chermonte says one application introduced one famous play as “The Loin King.”

“We had a student that was really passionate about [“The Lion King”] and wrote a really well-done essay,” Chermonte says. “But she neglected to proofread it, and she referred to the musical as ‘The Loin King.’”

Generic essays are the most common downfall for applicants, as many will submit the same exact essay for different university applications. This makes the applicant look disinterested in their submission, making it a higher possibility that one gets rejected in favor of original submissions.

“Demonstrating true interest and care can make a difference on the margin,” says Chris Munoz, vice president of enrollment at Rice University. “And when you’re talking about universities that admit under 20 percent of applicants, you may need it.”

Interest in going to college is what really should be the motivation for one to go to college, and not having time to proofread, follow directions and write a quality essay may be obstacles to getting into getting into the school of your dreams.