Five Common College Application Mistakes

1) Not Including Important Contextual Information

Not including important contextual information is a very common college application mistakes. If your grades dropped due to a health issue or you weren’t able to join as many clubs because you were babysitting your siblings after school, this context should be present somewhere in your application. You can add family commitments to your resume and additional information about academic or extra-curricular hiccups to the additional information section of the Common App.

2) Too Much Information

In the quest to dive deep, some students provide too much information or accidentally paint themselves in a negative light. Every time you describe a personal drawback of yours, the focus should always be on the lessons learned and how you’ll be bringing these lessons with you into the future.

3) Starting your Application at the Last Minute

You may be used to knocking out a five-page essay the night before and ending up with an A, but this isn’t a high school class. This is a competition to find the best applicants. Your application not only needs to be strong but also better than others.

4) Failing to Show Demonstrated Interest

Demonstrated interest refers to the level of interest you’ve shown in matriculating a college or university through things like going on tours or applying early. How important this is, varies on the school. When it comes to common college application mistakes, the lack of demonstrated interest can be make or break. If you’re applying to a school, make sure that you’ve at least signed up for their mailing list and virtual info sessions. Curious to know who values demonstrated interest? Check out

5) The Dry, Generic Essay

All of the essays matter, no matter how many you’ve written. Make sure that you’re getting different people to read them and give you honest feedback to ensure that your essay displays your unique voice.