Applying to college can be exciting, but even the thought of filling out applications causes us to break out in a sweat. But look at it this way: you’ve already done most of the work for your application through four years of studying for classes and tests (which your grades and scores reflect.) Now all that’s left is adding your personal touch. We sat down with Tom Englehardt, the Director of Admissions at Fisher College to ask him his take on showing your best self to your dream school.
1. Find Your Story
Your essay is the perfect opportunity to show your personality and what you have to offer as an applicant. Since you only have 500-800 words, don’t tell your whole life story, but rather focus on a particular anecdote or experience that means something to you. For example: Is there something that you’re passionate about? Or an experience that taught you a valuable lesson? Focus on that story and put your heart (and spell check) into it.
“When it comes to a topic, it’s great when students can write about an experience, hobby or event that has directly impacted their lives,” says Englehardt.
Worried you don’t have a story that stands out? Don’t sweat it! Englehardt and the rest of our admissions team are looking for a story that will allow them to get to know you.
“We review thousands of applications so when students are choosing an essay topic, they want to choose one that’s unique to them.”
Fisher College's Admission's Department share tips that will help you send in a winning application.
This may seem like an obvious tip, but paying attention to detail and taking the time to fix a spelling mistake can go a long way. After all, you want to present your best self, and making sure you correct obvious and avoidable mistakes will make your application look more polished and professional. What does Fisher’s admission’s office have to say about this?
“Students only have one chance to make a good first impression with an Admissions Officer-it’s definitely important to take the time to write a well written essay that’s grammatically correct,” says Englehardt
On that note, one of the biggest editing mistakes you can make is to type the name of another school in your application. Yes, Dream School University may be your top choice, but Second Choice College doesn’t need to know that! While it would be tedious to write a different personal statement for every school, think about something from each school that you are excited about and write a sentence around it. This personal touch will show admissions officers that you care. Stuck on what to say? Explore the school’s website. Fisher College offers an online virtual tour to give students a chance to explore the school before making a decision.
Stuck on an essay topic? Share an experience that meant something to you.
3. Choose Your Recommendations Wisely
Besides your essay, the other part of your application that shows college admissions officers who you are is a letter of recommendation from a faculty or staff member from your high school. When you’re choosing the person to write your letter, make sure it is someone who truly knows you and can speak to your character.
“Guidance Counselors, teachers, and coaches usually are the best options. In addition to discussing each student’s educational background, they can also include key character traits within their letters of recommendation such as leader, accordable, team-player, reliable, etc,” says Englehardt.
Whomever you choose, make sure you ask them well before the deadline and thank them after!
Read ‘5 Tips for Getting College Recommendations’ from Forbes for more tips.
Now take a deep breath and use these tips to create a killer application. Remember to pay attention to each school’s specific requirements, and of course, always use spell check! Learn more about applying to Fisher
Tom Englehardt is the Director of Admissions at Fisher College
- Student Life