Did you know 20 percent of high school students show up to their college interviews wearing pajamas? Kidding, kidding. If that were true, that would definitely be a high-up-there pet peeve among Admissions counselors! But thankfully, we've yet to see someone's PJs...
The truth is, it's very easy to please the team of people who will be reviewing your application, and for most of you, you wouldn't come close to committing these blunders below. But juuuust in case, and sort of just for fun, we asked around to come up with Admissions counselors' biggest pet peeves; the things people do (and have done) that can really leave the wrong impression. Take a look:
1. Essays that go on and on. We love when a student feels so strongly about the topic of their essay that they have a lot to say, but remember, we have so many personal statements to read. There's a reason why you'll find word limits on essay requirements on nearly every college application you complete: to make sure each one gets the time and attention it deserves. Keep yours within the limit, and you can be sure it'll get read properly.
2. Phone-checkers, mid-interview. You'd be surprised to hear how often prospective students whip out their phones for a quick peak...during an interview! Unless you’re expecting urgent news that can't wait, you should really check tweets, posts, texts, etc., after you leave the building.
3. Late arrivals. Sometimes, no matter how early you leave to get to where you're going, you arrive 15 minutes late. We totally get it, things happen. When they do, an apology and an explanation can go a long way. Just be honest. We at least want to know that you tried to give yourself enough time to get here.
4. No further questions. Asking us questions at the end of your interview is a very smart move. It shows us you thought about our conversation, want to know more and are genuinely interested in the school. When a student doesn't have a question or a comment after an interview, it just feels like a lack of interest.
5. Inappropriate social posts. No matter how private students think their social accounts are, things have a way of being seen by people who shouldn't see them. And trust us on this one: there is a strong possibility an admissions counselor will explore your online presence. Make sure you've scrubbed yours for language or photos you aren't proud of. (Tips on this coming soon to the blog!)
6. MIA applicants. This is just good advice in general: if you ever change your email address or mailing address, make a list of everyone who should be notified and tell them right away—Admissions counselors included. That way, if we have any questions or news, you can respond quickly.
7. Not proofreading everything. From your essay to your own name on the application, having a few proofers who check for typos, misspellings, grammar mistakes and more can only help you in the long run. A clean application is so much more enjoyable and easier to read than one strewn with mistakes.
That's really it! Those are the most common mistakes and no-nos Admissions counselors see. Avoid these, and anything ridiculously off-putting not listed above, and you'll be making our jobs easier. (And we thank you for that!)
So, want to show us what you got?