Things That May Piss off College Admissions Officers

Going to college can be considered a gift.  Not all people have the drive or the resources to attend post-secondary school, and those that do still have to get through the admission process.  If you are planning to go to college, one of the biggest obstacles in your way is getting the admission committee to accept your application.  As such, you probably wouldn’t want to upset the admissions officers, or get on their bad side.  Here are a few things to avoid when dealing with your application and the admission committee:

Sending too many letters of recommendation

Some applicants tend to send a bunch of letters of recommendation, thinking that more recommendation letters will help convince the admissions officers to accept them.  Most schools ask for a specific number of recommendation letters for each applicant, usually around two or three letters.  Exceeding the number of required letters will only hurt you.  Make sure that you get letters from people whom you think will give you the best, recommendations and send those along with your application package.  As much as possible, try not to exceed the maximum.(1)

Trying to be too poetic on your letters and essays

Take a look at a bunch of personal statement examples, and you will find that most authors steer clear from sounding too wordy or poetic.  You admission essays and letters to the admission committee should be of excellent quality, but that doesn’t mean that you should try to be poetic or extremely literary.  Trying to make your letters and essays too poetic may can backfire.  Admission committees are used to reading essays and letters, and they know when applicants are trying too hard.  Study and emulate the language use of personal statement examples.  Keep your objective in mind and the content within the context of your college application.(2)

Be sure to take full advantage of good examples of personal statement, because they can help you compose a concise, comprehensible, and compelling letter or essay.  You may even want to compare your essay to an example of personal statement online to see how you measure up to the standards.

Sending a thick file, aside from the transcript

Admission committees already have enough papers to look through.  Sending a thick file with information that is either irrelevant or unnecessary will only add to the work and stress of the admissions officers.  Your application package should only be composed of what the admission committee actually requires from you.  Keep it simple and avoid swamping admissions officers with unneeded files and papers.(3)


Common Flaws when Writing an Admission Essay

The admission essay is an important part of your application package.  This will serve as a means to tell the admission committee something about yourself apart from all of the information that is already on your application forms, resume, and transcript.  If you use the admission essay properly, you can give the committee some insight into your personality, character, and how you live your life.  Despite the freedom that you have when writing your admission essay, there are still a number of mistakes you should look out for, and here are some of them:

Boring your readers right from the start

One of the biggest mistakes that people sometimes commit on their admission essay is to bore their readers.  You might as well check out some poorly written personal statement examples to get an idea of what a boring essay is.  Remember that your goal is to get the reader hooked on who you are and why you deserve to be in the school.  If you bore the reader from the start, then what’s to keep him or her from putting down your essay and going on to the next applicant?  Try to hold the reader’s interest with an attention-grabbing introduction, an interesting body, and a clinching conclusion.(1)

Using the thesaurus to find inappropriate, big words

Another mistake that some applicants make is using the thesaurus to look for big words.  People tend to think that big words will make them sound more educated or well read.  The truth is, many of the best writers and speakers out there are able to convey volumes of useful information with the use of simple language that most people can understand.  Try checking some examples of personal statements and pay close attention to their language use.  You’ll probably notice that most personal statement examples make use of simple and sincere language.  Instead of using big words, try to focus on expressing yourself in a simple but interesting manner.(2)

Saying the same things over and over again

Another common mistake is writing an essay that goes around in circles, repeating the same information in different ways.  Some tend to give too much information, or they just use the same information over and over again.  A useful trick to remedy this mistake is to compose a short outline that will guide you through what you want to say.(3)  Try to emulate a personal statement example that reads well and keeps the reader’s thought process flowing.


Tips on How to Discuss Sensitive Themes in Your Admission Essay

When applying to a post-secondary educational institution, one of the most significant admission requirements is the admission essay.  Writing an admission essay is not an easy task, and it seems that the task only becomes more daunting when you have to discuss sensitive themes.  If you have to write about sensitive issues in your personal statement, it is important that you do so with tact, honesty, and sincerity.(1)  You can do better if you can find good examples of personal statement that tackle these kinds of topics.  Here are some good tips:

Examples of personal statement: Be honest but tactful

One of the golden rules when composing your admission essay is to be honest and tactful.  It is important that you get the story and the hardship across to the reader, but do so in a manner that is not offensive or insensitive.  Perhaps the biggest mistake that you can make when writing your admission essay is to fabricate information in an attempt to make your personal statement seem more interesting or compelling.  Take the high road and be honest instead, because admission committees frown upon lies and plagiarism.(2)

Personal statement examples: Don’t try too hard to persuade readers but feed them with positive information

Another mistake that some people make on the admission essay is that they try to hard to persuade the reader about what a terrible or difficult time they had.  Your point isn’t to tell a sob story about your life, but to show that you can focus on the positive aspects despite the numerous challenges that you had to endure.  If you are able to elaborate the positive aspects in your essay, then the reader will be more likley to focus on this side of the story as well.

Examples of personal statements: Focus on what makes you a strong candidate

In line with focusing on the positive, it’s important to talk about why you make a strong candidate as an applicant to the school.  The mark of any great admission essay is when the author is able to express how such sensitive topics and difficult experiences have made them a better person.  Focus on how the character traits, values, and virtues that you have developed through such experience have prepared you to deal with the challenges that you are likely to face in college and beyond.(3)


What You Need to Know when Applying for Financial Aid

Aside from going over several personal statement examples for their writing their admission essay, students should also seek information on how they can best qualify for financial aid.  For many students who are trying to get through college, financial aid is one of their best friends.  With a little help from scholarships and grants, students can worry a little less about how to pay for their tuition and instead focus more on their studies at hand.  Basically, financial aid helps students pay for tuition, room and board, books and supplies, as well as other school fees.(1)  Here are some helpful information that they should know:

Freshmen have a better chance at getting good offers

Usually, freshmen have a better chance at getting good financial aid offers.  This is normally the case, because many school have specific financial aid programs for incoming first-year students.  Since freshmen still have a good four or more years of study in the school, they can be given long-term financial aid plans at lower rates.  This information shouldn’t discourage non-freshman students from finding a good deal, though.

You can negotiate for a better package

Perhaps the best way to get the most out of a financial aid deal is to negotiate.  Most lenders are willing to strike a deal with you, but they will probably wait for you to make the first negotiations.  There are a number of ways in which you can negotiate your financial aid.  One way is to ask for lower interest rates, which can shave off  a considerable amount from the fees and costs of your loan.  You can also try to get a longer grace period on your repayment schedule, so that you have more time to work out how you’re going to pay your bills.  Also, you can negotiate for a higher loan in case the initial offer made by the lender is not enough to pay for your schooling fees.(2)  What other students do is get ideas from personal statement examples so they can provide details in their admission essays on how they want to acquire college education despite their financial situation.

Students should not accept the first offer but should wait until they get accepted to more schools

Another strategy is to wait until you are accepted to more schools before finalizing your loan deals.  While waiting for a better offer, what applicants can do is to learn as much as they can from well-written examples of personal statement so they can have better chances of getting admitted to more colleges and universities.  A personal statement example can help boost your applications even if you don’t have excellent grades.

When it comes to federal loans, it is important for you to wait until you are accepted to more schools, because these loans are often linked to the school that you are attending.  You will then have more leverage to negotiate your financial aid. Just remember not to wait for too long, otherwise you may lose all your chances as you get closer to deadlines for financial aid applications.(3)


The Dos and Don’ts of Admission Essay Writing

You admission essay can be the one thing that convinces the admission committee to give you a chance by accepting you into the school.  While your resume and your transcripts may not be perfect, the admission essay can help to smooth over these hiccups by charming the committee with your personality.(1)  Because the admission essay is such an important part of your application package, you may want to know how to put together a winning piece.  Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes to admission essay writing, based on some good and bad examples of personal statements:

Don’t include unnecessary information that don’t support your thesis.

One of the biggest mistakes that some writers make in their personal statement examples is including irrelevant information. You have to remember that admission committees usually have thousands of application packages to look through, so don’t waste your time and theirs by including unnecessary details in your essay.  Try to make a solid thesis statement and follow it throughout your essay.(2)  Go over some examples of personal statements online so you can spot common errors and be guided on how to write a good one.

Do include experiences that set you apart from other applicants.

The main goal of the admission essay is to tell the committee why you deserve the slot over the thousands of other people who are applying.  One of the best ways to do this is to focus on what makes you unique from the other applicants.  Each person comes from different backgrounds and, even if two people grow up in the exact same environment, each will experience that environment differently from the other.  Try to expound on certain experience that set you apart, and mention how these experiences have prepared you for success in college and your future career.(3)

Do read your essay aloud, and see how it sounds.

Another great tip is to read your essay aloud.  It can be easy to get detached from what you are writing, especially when you are under pressure and trying to do the best you can to create an excellent personal statement.  Make sure to read your essay aloud so that you can actually hear what you have written.  Chances are, the better it sounds when you read it aloud, the better it will read on paper as well.  This is one of the secrets of well-writen examples of personal statement.


3 Easy Ways to Organize the Body of Your Essay

When completing the requirements for your application package, you should keep in mind that one of the most substantial requirements is your admission essay.  This can spell the difference between receiving the fat acceptance letter or the thin rejection notice.  For this reason, you should do your best to make an excellent personal statement that is interesting, compelling, and engaging.  This article will give you three helpful hints on how to develop and organize the body of your admission essay based on well-written examples of personal statements.

Examples of personal statements: Make an outline for your main ideas

The first step is to make a simple outline of your main ideas.  There is no need to create a three-page outline with all of the information in there.  Instead, focus on the main points that you want to get across in your essay.  Perhaps a maximum of three to five points would be best to ensure that you won’t try to write about too many different things.(1)

Personal statement examples: Create sub-point for each main idea

Now that you have a good idea of what you want to write about, the next step is to make one or two sub-points for each main idea you listed down in step 1.  The sub-points should delve a little deeper into the main idea by stating what you want to emphasize about the topic.  For example, if one of your main ideas is a challenging time you had in high school, then your sub-point can be about how you felt while battling the challenge.  The main objective in this second step is to start developing your main idea into something that you can expound on in your essay.(2)

Examples of personal statement: Elaborate on your insights and how they make you a good candidate

The final step is to start filling in your essay.  Now that you already have your main ideas and sub-points, all that is left to do the writing.  Elaborate on the main ideas by touching on the sub-points that you came up with.  Take it one step further by doing a little reflection and writing about how your personality and character have developed, making you a good candidate for the school.(3)


SWOT Analysis for Choosing the Best Course for You

It can be difficult to choose which course to take up in college.  There are so many considerations to keep in mind, such as your interests, skills, background, and your aspirations.  What’s worse is that choosing the wrong course may result in wasted years, because this may not be the one that can fully develop your abilities and your character.  For this reason, it’s important to take some time to reflect and analyze your situation, and the SWOT test is the perfect tool for the job.  Writers of personal statement examples have done this test to help write about their goals in their admission essay and get accepted to their chosen courses.

Examples of personal statements: Evaluating yourself through strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats

The acronym “S.W.O.T.” stands for “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.  When you take a SWOT test, you analyze these four factors in an attempt to make key decisions and to form a strategy.  SWOT analysis is normally used for business ventures or projects, but you can also benefit from this to help you choose which college course would best fit your personality and your character.  Evaluate yourself by making a list.(1)  Make sure that you do so within the context of your college course, your career possibilities, and the school that you will be attending.

Personal statement examples: Getting a list of available courses that best match your skills, personality, and goals

Now that you have conducted your SWOT analysis, the next step is to take the process one step further by assessing which courses fit in with your skills, personality and goals.  There are two main ways in which you can mix and match your SWOT test results and the possible courses available.(2)  The first and more obvious way of choosing a course is to find one that fits best with your strengths and downplays your weaknesses.  On the other hand, you may want to take on the challenge of choosing a course that will develop your weaknesses.  You may want to lean toward courses that actually interest you, because when it comes down to sleepless nights trying to complete your assignments and projects, that interest may be the only thing that keeps you going.

Examples of personal statement: Deciding which course can offer the best potential for growth and career gain

Another important consideration when choosing your course is to analyze which courses will provide you with the education, training, and experience you need for personal growth and a successful career.  You may already have some practical experience in a career field that you want to pursue, so it would only make sense to choose a course that can help you in that field.  Ultimately, your goal is to find a course that will help you make the best out of your talents and skills to prepare you for your career and your future in general.(3)


How Not to Get Stuck on the Admissions Wait List

So you’ve applied to a number of colleges, but your first pick has told you that you are on their waiting list.  What should you do?  Getting on that list can be rather frustrating when all you want is to get accepted to your favorite school. Still, you should try to look at the bright side–at least you still have a chance.  The best thing for you to do is try and maximize your chance of getting off that list and into college.  Here’s how:

Be persistent but not annoying

One of the first steps toward getting accepted is to show that you are interested and that you actually do want to get admitted.(1)  Give the admission office a call to get an update on your situation and to ask if there is anything more that you can do.  Some schools will accept letters of appeal, while others strictly urge you not to send any letters of intent unless it is by their request. You may also want to let the college know about any new developments that might help your chances, such scoring higher in SAT or doing a better personal statement example.  Just remember that there is a fine line between being persistent and being annoying, and you certainly don’t want to annoy the admission committee that processes hundreds of applications and personal statement examples.(2)

Let the school know that it’s your first choice

Another way of boosting your chances to get accepted is to let the school know that it is your first choice.  You can do this by writing the school a letter, restating your interest.  Try to focus on why you want to go to the school and what makes the school a great educational institution.  Get some ideas from good examples of personal statement online.  For instance, you can say that it is a reputable business course or has a unique curriculum that you will greatly benefit from.  When writing letters like this, it’s important to avoid sucking up or sounding desperate.  Try to be objective and honest the same a way a winning personal statement example would be written.(3)

Prove that you can pay

Finally, you can also try to get off the wait list by proving that you can pay.  Some schools put applicants on the wait list because they have financial issues, such as international students who don’t have a job or anyone who can provide them financial aid.  It is important to prove to these schools that you are willing to do what it takes to pay for your tuition and other costs.  If you are at a loss to find ways to pay for your tuition, you may want to consider grants, scholarships, or loans.


Personal Statement Example: How to Cover up Flaws when Writing an Admission Essay

When applying to a post-secondary school, you will probably be asked to write an admission essay of some sort.  At first, it may seem like extra work, but there are some great benefits to writing a personal statement.  Perhaps the best benefit is that you can use the essay to explain or cover up some of the flaws on your resume or transcripts.(1)  Here’s how to cover up flaws when writing your admission essay:

Infuse humor and narratives to tone down your shortcomings and failures

Some personal statement examples employ humor and narratives to downplay the shortcomings and failures of the applicants.  Using humor is a good way to diffuse the issue.  However, it is still important that the overall tone of your essay is still serious and reflective.(2)  When using narratives, it is important not to focus too much on the bad and highlight the good instead, such as how you have learned from such shortcomings and failures.

Make your failure seem like an eye-opener or life-changing experience

Another approach used in many personal statement examples is to explain how you have come to your senses as a result of going through such challenging times.  Try to concentrate on how you have come to a deeper realization of who you are, the challenges you have faced, and how certain hardships have helped you make the decision to change your life for the better. Try not to be too idealistic when taking this approach and, instead take a more mellow and sober tone.  To help you with this task, you can read a few good examples of personal statement that made it through college admission.

Use your shortcomings as source of motivation and inspiration

Another option is to discuss how such shortcomings and failures have given your the inspiration and motivation to set your life straight.  Some examples of personal statements will show you to discuss priorities and goals that have changed as a result of going through life challenges.  Mention how you have the drive to make things better for yourself and for those around you.(3)  Finally,be sure to write about how you are now motivated to make it through college and turn your life around.


Example of Personal Statement: Using Your Resume to Write Your Admission Essay

When it comes to writing an admission essay, it can be difficult to think of a topic to write about and how to develop that topic.  One useful tip is to use your resume as guide.  Although your resume may just be full of bullet points, it holds a lot of information about who you are and what you have been through. Read on to learn more about how to use your resume to write a compelling admission essay.

Examples of personal statement: Create an outline of information you want to include

Before you get to writing, you may want to create an outline.  The good thing is, because your resume is probably in a timeline format, you already have a basic outline to work from.  Go over a few personal statement examples, and see how writers have probably used their resumes to reflect on their achievements and experiences.  Based on this, make an outline based on some of the most interesting points in your life or career, such as a challenging time in your life.  Remember not to choose too many things to write about, or you may not be able to go into depth about such topics.(1)

Personal statement examples: Discuss your skills and experiences from your resume in detail

Now that you have chosen some of the instances that you want to write about, you should try to focus on how you have developed as a result of these occurrences.  Talk about the experiences that you encountered, the skills that you honed, or the character traits that you have developed along the way.  Remember that you want to expound on your resume instead of merely re-enumerating your achievements.(2)

Examples of personal statements: Make substantial conclusions on how your skills and experiences make you a strong candidate

Finally, make a conclusion that brings together everything you have written about in your essay.  You have already written about certain experiences and discussed how your personality has developed throughout the years.  Now, your goal is to explain why you make a good candidate for the school you are applying to.  Avoid bragging and instead go with the flow by mentioning how your skills and experiences have prepared you to deal with the challenges of college and your life after college.(3)