College Applications: How to Stand Out in 8 Minutes or Less
Yes, eight minutes, max. Some college admissions offices evaluate student applications in six minutes. Some even say they’ve gotten it down to four.
Overwhelmed by application surges, college admissions offices overhaul the way they evaluate applicants.
What’s happening? Simple. Swelling numbers of applicants require time efficiency. After all, as of January 15, 2018, 898,000 students applied to 4.8 colleges or universities via The Common Application. That means that at least 4,310,400 applications need to be read and evaluated by the spring of 2018. That’s a lot of reading, and thus the process of reading all those applications had to be streamlined.
Some Colleges Now Using Committee-Based Application Review:
University of Pennsylvania
Case Western Reserve University
California Institute of Technology
Think about it: The common application essay and supplemental essays are the only parts of your application that allow admissions officers to see the difference between you and all the other students with the same GPA and standardized test scores (SAT/ACT). Put simply, writing great college application essays can make the difference between you being admitted or denied.
How to stand out in eight minutes or less? When writing your essays:
- Start writing your common application essay during the summer between your junior and senior year, at the latest. In fact, you’re best off starting to think about and strategize your college application profile starting in ninth or tenth grade.
- Make sure that you tell a coherent story of yourself across all essays, activities lists, and transcripts
- Make sure that all of your essays, the common application essay and the supplemental essays, sound personal and have a unique and authentic sense of “voice”
- Finally, remember that while the common application essay is described as a personal narrative, it’s really a strategic marketing document masquerading as a personal narrative. The essay that sings off the page is the one that sells you, instantly.
Ready to get started? Call me.
Dr. Osborn works with students from all over the world to help them reach their independent, college, and graduate school goals. Through a personal, one-on-one approach, Dr. Osborn creates an individualized plan for each student based on the student’s strengths, passions, and career aspirations. Her holistic approach helps students perform well in school and secure admission to top colleges.