the college process
The College Application Essay is arguably the most important aspect of the admissions process and requires the student to submit an answer to one of many questions that is most often posted by the Common Application (the most common college application form that is used by most colleges in the United States). There are, however, many Colleges/Universities that do not require the Common Application Essay and require various other forms of a personal statement. However, this essay, regardless of how it’s asked, is the student’s ability to shine and explain who they are as individuals apart from just grades and test scores. It gives college admissions counselors a great insight into how the student thinks and how valuable of an asset he or she will be.
Most Schools require the common application form, but many schools, particularly in California, are switching to different systems, such as the Coalition App. The general concept of every form is the same and will ask about student demographics, personal identity questions, inquiries about parental history, and most importantly what Extra Curricular Activities the student has been a part of. It’s truly important to get this right as a mistake here will ultimately result in an inability to follow directions and can jeopardize the student’s hard work all for some silly clerical error. It’s important to note that once an application is submitted, you cannot go back without notifiying the school.
While every school asks general questions about the student’s identity, most Colleges/Universities ask for school specific forms to be filled out. These forms usually entail extra essays that are specific for each school and are ways to ensure that the student has done sufficient research and has enough motivation to attend. This is just another loop hole the students are put through in order to ensure only the most highly qualified candidates will apply.
Many of the supplemental applications also require a Resume.
This process sounds a lot simpler than it is and I would take special note on this process. Submission is the final step in the process and cannot be reversed (without going to extraordinary measures). It is not only crucial to know what to submit as that should have been planned prior to filling out any of the school specific supplemental forms, but it is important to know when to submit and how to submit to each school.
Many schools have options such as ED, EA, REA, RA etc. (For a breakdown of these terms – please visit the FAQ portion of this page). These options can often increase/decrease the student’s likelihood in obtaining entrance depending on the school’s statistics of previous year’s enrollment.