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College Admissions: Put Your Best Foot Forward 

Monday, December 24, 2007

You put so much effort into your admissions essay... you've been working hard to maintain a strong GPA... you've spent countless hours participating in extracurricular activities... and you've done tons of research in your college search... so don't hurt your chances of admission by committing one of these easy-to-avoid mistakes.

Use an Appropriate E-mail Address throughout the College Admissions Process

Feel free to use partygurl_45@yahoo.com or sexyman877@hotmail.com with your friends, but it's not a good idea to put this down on your admissions application or to use it when corresponding with college admissions officers. You want to come across as a responsible young adult... and QTGirl90@gmail.com does not send that message to a college. We'd recommend simply signing up for an e-mail address with your first and last name (plus a number or middle initial, if necessary) and using it for college admissions and scholarship-related e-mails. Sure, JohnSmith454@aol.com may not be as fun, but it definitely won't leave the college admissions staff questioning your judgment.

Avoid IM Jargon

While I'm sure that college admissions officers can figure out that "ur" stands for "you are" and that "OMG" means "Oh My God", we'd probably avoid using them in your e-mails to admissions offices. It may take you an extra two seconds to spell out a word, but it's worth taking those two seconds to put together complete sentences.

It's also a good idea to take a second to re-read any e-mail you send to a college before you send it. It will help you catch typos, notice spelling mistakes, or see that you accidentally left out a word. Many e-mail programs have built-in spell-checks. It probably wouldn't hurt to run it on e-mails to college admissions officers.

Set an Appropriate Voicemail Message

If you plan on sharing your cell phone number with colleges (on your admissions application, in e-mails, or in voicemails), make sure that you don't have a 10-second clip from a pop song playing on your voicemail message. A simple "You've reached Sara Martinez. Sorry I missed your call. Please leave me a message" will work much better than a "What up, peeps? Give me the 411."

Consider Making your Facebook / MySpace Profile Private or Keeping it PG-rated

We recognize that most high school students are going to have a Facebook or MySpace profile and that you're probably using it for social reasons... maybe to keep your friends up to date on what's going on with you, to share photos from the party you were at on Friday night, or just to leave your buddy a funny wall post. We also recognize that college admissions officers are not the target audience for your profile.

However, it might be a good idea to set your profile to private and to make sure that your profile picture is rated PG not R. We'd recommend a better-safe-than-sorry approach for your profiles. It may be true that most admissions offices won't look you up on Facebook or MySpace, but you don't want to find out that they do look at your profile the hard way.

You're a Smart Person... Just Use Your Head

In general, we recommend using common sense and good judgment. It would be a shame if a small, avoidable mistake took attention away from four years of hard work and a stellar college admissions application or scholarship application.

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Comments

Anonymous Orlah   April 21, 2017 at 10:45 AM

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