Top College Application Mistakes

Do you ever get tired of dealing with mistakes students make when filling out your admission application? You’re certainly not alone, ACT performed a study listing the top ten grievances reported by counselors and admissions staff when dealing with admission applications. Many of these problems are avoidable by simply having a quality admission application available online. Let’s tackle these one at a time:

  1. Misspellings and grammatical errors— I can understand why this is a big pet peeve for everyone. On the bright side however, it does provide insight into the quality of the student. While technically you can add spellcheckers to your webforms I would not normally recommend doing this beyond essay submissions. This is one of those things where I believe students need to exercise their own quality control.
  2. Applying online, but the application isn’t actually submitted— Your online admission application should have the full capability of reaching out to your prospects who haven’t yet completed your application. Furthermore, always, always, always show and email each prospect some form of confirmation. Imagine shopping online and not being sure whether or not you actually bought what you wanted. Problem solved.
  3. Forgotten signatures— Having an online admission application only requires a “digital” signature. Prospects won’t be able to forget their signature if it’s a required input. This solution is short and sweet.
  4. Not reading carefully— This one can be harder to solve however if the answer typically has a limited subset of answers, toss it into a data type that conforms to that specification. Put it in a dropdown and don’t let them fumble on such simple questions.
  5. Listing extracurricular activities that aren’t— Ditto on this one, just see the answer above.
  6. Not telling your school counselor where you’ve applied— You can choose to solve this one by collecting their counselor’s information and then simply contacting them directly once receiving the information. You can even take it a step further and send the counselor an automatic email with the details of the online application if you want to alert them autonomously.
  7. Writing illegibly— Since an online admissions application is digital this would naturally become a non-issue.
  8. Using an email address that friends might laugh about, but colleges won’t— Unfortunately there’s not much you can do to prevent this one but at least you won’t be stuck trying to decipher cryptic writing with questionable wording or meaning.
  9. Not checking your email regularly— You can’t fix this problem directly but you can still reach out to them via other contact information that you can require to collect from an online admissions application. You can even be more cunning by introducing automatic SMS texting capability from within your online software. I guarantee every prospect checks their mobile phone not just regularly, but every hour or even every minute.
  10. Letting Mom or Dad help you fill out your application— This one is also difficult to protect yourself against. Though it’s a proven fact that if your admission application is online rather than in paper form, it increases the chances your prospect will be filling out the application themselves.

Well there you have it. An online application is a catch-all solution to nearly all of your biggest admissions headaches. It never ceases to amaze me some schools still do NOT have an online admission application!

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    Cofounder, Partner, Software Development

    Located in Buffalo, NY

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