College-Bound Students Frenzied Over Looming College Application Deadlines

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“Dr. Kat” and the Expert Team of Counselors at IvyWise and ApplyWise Offer Crucial Last-Minute College Application Tips

IvyWise offers families comprehensive counseling and tutoring services for college, pre-K, K-12 and graduate school admissions, with an emphasis on each student's unique personality, interests, values and learning styles.

IvyWise offers families comprehensive counseling and tutoring services for college, pre-K, K-12 and graduate school admissions, with an emphasis on each student's unique personality, interests, values

Students need to give each and every college application the merit it deserves, as it represents who they are both as a student and as a person.

With college application deadlines approaching quickly for many U.S. colleges and universities—some as early as December 31st 2011—for high school seniors across the country and around the world, the pressure is on. Whether students are ahead of the game, dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s, or rushing to complete their college essays in time, Dr. Katherine Cohen and the expert team of counselors at IvyWise, an internationally recognized college admissions counseling company, and ApplyWise, the first online, interactive college admissions counseling program, have pulled together a list of last-minute college application tips that can help make all the difference.

"Students need to give each and every college application the merit it deserves, as it represents who they are both as a student and as a person,” says college admissions expert Dr. Katherine Cohen, CEO and founder of IvyWise and ApplyWise, fondly known by her students as “Dr. Kat.” “In many cases, the application is the only thing college admissions committees have by which to evaluate a student.”

Despite the importance of college applications, Dr. Kat and her team of counselors continue to see students make the same mistakes again and again. The Top Five College Application Mistakes students make include:

  •     Not following directions
  •     Typos and grammatical errors
  •     Redundancy
  •     Sending an incomplete application
  •     Sending too many items

Adds Cohen, “Many college application mistakes can be avoided easily. It is so important that students double-check their completed applications and supplements. After all, they’ve already put in four years of hard work throughout high school, and now it all comes down to how they present it to an admissions committee on paper.”

To help students turn in standout applications, Dr. Kat and her team of counselors have compiled their Top 10 Last-minute College Application Tips that students should abide by before dropping their applications in the mail or pressing send:

First, look at your essays:

Check that each essay tells the admissions committee something new about you that they cannot learn anywhere else in the application. For example, your personal statement should not repeat information from your transcript, resume, or other essays.

Make sure your essays represent your true voice. It’s obvious when someone else has had too heavy a hand or when a student has “Thesaurus.com-ed” an essay.

Beware of copy and paste! Double and triple-check that the essay you are sending to New York University doesn’t read “…and that’s why I chose to apply to Duke University.”

Proofread and share your work. Read your draft aloud to an adult you know to make sure each sentence is clearly written and properly punctuated. Then, put your draft aside for at least 24 hours and reassess it. For further proofreading, make an appointment with your English teacher and allow him or her to edit for typographical errors that you might have missed.

Dr. Kat clarifies, “Proofreading is crucial, and that doesn’t mean just running spell check. After all, spell check will not pick up your ‘black belt in marital arts’ and you don’t want to submit an activity essay about ‘torturing students three hours per week’ when you meant ‘tutoring’.”

Next, look at the other components of your application:

List your extracurricular activities in order of importance to you. Did you accurately account for your participation in and commitment to each activity?

Dr. Kat warns, “List only meaningful activities. Also, don’t go overboard and send along every math award you’ve earned since second grade, or recordings of every choral performance you’ve ever given.”

Release your test scores. You will need to authorize release of your standardized testing scores, including SAT, ACT, and SAT Subject Test scores to each school on your list. It can take several days for the testing agency to process your request, so you need to take care of this at least a few days in advance.

Follow up with your guidance counselor and teachers to ensure that transcripts, secondary school reports, and letters of recommendation have been submitted on time and in the proper format.

Dr. Cohen advises, “Schools need to receive ALL pieces of the college application by the deadline date, which is typically January 1st 2012 for the majority of selective schools. Many high schools are closed then, so be sure that your school sends all necessary materials before they go on break. Once that is taken care of, make sure you thank your teachers and your counselor for their time and effort!”

Finally, show the school that you are a serious applicant and can follow directions.

Are you certain of the school's deadline? Don't make the fatal mistake of sending in your application even one day late.

Have you completed all of the required and relevant optional components, abiding by word or character counts and other guidelines?

According to Dr. Kat, “Even if you are applying through the Common Application or Universal Application, many schools have required supplements. As for optional components, at IvyWise and ApplyWise, we believe that the more information an admissions committee has about you, the more thorough their evaluation will be, so we recommend completing those as well.”

Did you print-preview your application to make sure that all information is displaying completely and correctly?

About IvyWise
IvyWise is an independent educational consulting company recognized for its expertise, student success and collaborative counseling approach. Founder and CEO, Dr. Katherine Cohen and the IvyWise team of expert counselors work one-on-one with students worldwide to guide them through the admissions process. Students receive individualized guidance while also benefiting from the collective feedback of the entire IvyWise team. IvyWise offers families comprehensive counseling and tutoring services for college, pre-K, K-12 and graduate school admissions, with an emphasis on each student's unique personality, interests, values and learning styles. IvyWise counselors help students customize a plan of action, create a balanced list of “good fit” schools, and convey their unique talents and strengths in their applications.

About ApplyWise
ApplyWise LLC, co-founded by Dr. Katherine Cohen and Liz Hamburg, is an online college admissions counseling program that includes on-demand interactive modules and organizing tools that give parents, students and counselors everything they need to master the admissions process. The ApplyWise program was developed by college admissions expert Dr. Katherine Cohen and the team of counselors at IvyWise, respected leaders in admissions counseling. In addition to being available directly to consumers, ApplyWise is currently being used by high school guidance counselors, test prep companies, certified college planners and independent counselors to supplement their own efforts.

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