Advice From Inside

Advice From Inside: What Can a Student do to Make Their Application Stand Out?

The people who work at Campus Bound are truly some of the most impressive people I have ever worked with. Many of our counselors and essay specialists have worked in the field for over 20 years (I am two years away from that mark and I can’t believe it). We have several counselors and other staff members who have worked “on the other side of the desk,” as we call it in our field, meaning they have worked in college admissions offices. So, from time to time, I like to tap into their wealth of insider information and pass it along to you. This time, I asked them: “What can a student do to make their college application stand out?” Here are their responses:

  • The best way for a student to have his or her application shine is to make sure the student’s voice is “heard,” clearly and loudly, throughout the application–essay(s), activity descriptions, and other material. 
  • In addition to having an error-free application, students can stand out by sending their admission counselor an email once the application is submitted to let the counselor know that their application has been submitted, how excited they are about X college, and how they can’t wait to receive a decision soon!
  • After reviewing applications for 12 years the things that would stand out were usually on the students essay or from a letter of recommendation. I also really liked when I had an email directly from the student as I would always add those to the students application file since it’s all online now it was very easy to do and would help that student stand out in my mind. The emails would be to ask a question or to thank me for meeting with them or just to check in that their application was complete. Either way, this gave me a sense that this student was seriously interested in the college and opened up a line of communication. Showing demonstrated interest is an important in the process. 
  • Elaborate on something you have done and enjoyed that will transfer to something specific at the college or university (For example; a part time job in high school in a clothing store could lead you to be interested in Marist College fashion program in Florence).
  • Only use descriptive words or phrases in the activity section; being succinctly descriptive outweighs a complete sentence.
  •  An application can really stand out with an essay written with a genuine and novel approach to even the simplest subject. It must maintain the student’s voice, but present a memorable, perhaps touching and original kind of experience. It need not be that climb to Kilimanjaro or cure for cancer, but it must have sincerity of meaning and even a sense of humility and wonder. 

If you are interested in learning more ways to make your application stand out, call Campus Bound and inquire about our package and hourly services.