10 College Application Tips to Land the School of Your Dreams

So many Archbishop Walsh Academy graduates have landed at US News Top 100 Colleges and Universities. Success with the college application process is more than just kind of a thing here. (And, needless to say, we’re so proud of that fact.)

Why and how do they get there? Well, for one, our school’s track record for academic excellence prepares students with a well-rounded, rigorous curriculum that nurtures the whole student not only academically but also as strong individuals rooted and balanced in faith-based values

At Walsh/STCS, our goal is to create a nurturing and safe environment where educators are committed to academic achievement and social success. Our purpose is to develop confident leaders and lifelong learners who will thrive throughout their lifetime. 

But for 94% of our students, that requires getting into college as that next BIG step. So here are some college application tips to land the college of your dreams. 

Let’s Break Down the College Application Process

There’s a lot to the college application process. But if you break it down into some common-sense steps and prepare deadlines for deliverables, it’s much less daunting. How can your child or children be among those who find themselves matriculating at prestigious colleges and universities? 

We just started the 2022-23 school year here at Walsh/STCS, but our seniors are already preparing for this process right now! So we’re sharing the exact college application tips we’re giving our students to launch their incredibly bright futures.

1. Deadlines

Pay attention to them. Mark them down – twice or three times if you have to. Make sure to begin filling out applications way before the deadlines. Typically, college application deadlines fall between January 1 and February 15.

(Helpful hint: deadlines are deadlines for a reason, but that doesn’t mean you should wait until the last second. If a college has a deadline of January 15, set your own deadline to finish several weeks before, if possible. That way, if there are any problems, followup or clarification, you’re prepared to respond well before the deadline.)

2. Instructions

Read the instructions connected with applications. Carefully. Instructions may vary among institutions, but they’re crafted that way to provide the information they need to make decisions in their own ways. Don’t make the mistake of making a mistake when filling out applications. 

3. Information

Make sure to fill in all of the required information on the applications. Be careful that spaces are not left unfilled. That looks sloppy and careless – and is a surefire way to have your college application rejected. 

Be thorough! 

4. Proofread

Again, be thorough! Make sure to proofread the applications once they are complete, then pass on the applications to someone else – a parent/guardian, school teacher, counselor, someone who can offer an unbiased and fair critique. 

Another pair of eyes is a must.

5. Honesty

Always be truthful with college applications. Don’t overstate or exaggerate experiences or accomplishments, as the college admissions staff ALWAYS verifies information provided. They will know if your college application is dishonest.

6. Recommendations

Make sure to have recommendation letters come from teachers, counselors and others who know the student well at school AND outside of school. Great colleges and universities are just as concerned with student performance both in and out of the classroom. 

Be sure to provide recommendation sources with plenty of time to craft a thoughtful and considerate letter of support. (And, of course, always express appreciation to those who write recommendations.)

7. Representation 

Make sure your student expresses their uniqueness in the essay portion. This is the opportunity to stand out from the other applicants. Be sure to be original and make it personal. Your student must tell their story; illustrate their place and role in the world and their vision for what the future holds. 

8. High School Transcripts

Make sure to let the counselor’s office know of the application deadlines, so that the high school transcripts can be sent with plenty of time to spare.

9. Copies 

Make sure to retain copies of applications, recommendations letters, essays and other materials used during the application process. That way if something gets lost, a backup copy exists.

10. Confirmation 

Make sure to reach out to the schools to ensure the application has been received and to see if anything is missing. The last thing you want is for a technical difficulty to lose a college application to the ether. Simply verify it was received and await further instruction.

Let’s Build the Best College Application for a Bright Future

These 10 tips are keys to producing that perfect college application. Your child or children will certainly stand out among the pack – and once accepted into the college or university of their dreams, they’ll be on their way to an even brighter future.

But the college application process is highly competitive. Want to get a leg up on the competition? Here at Walsh/STCS, we have a college counselor on staff to guide ALL students through the process (and that’s part of the reason our students are so consistently accepted to the best colleges and universities in the country).

Book a tour with us today!