Finalizing College Applications 

What Happens to Your College Application After It's Submitted? | IvyWise

Depending on where you go to high school, your school’s curriculum, and your personal motivations, your college application can either be an obstacle or an opportunity. I hope that after reading this post, you feel at least an ounce more ready than before!

  • Do not write what you think the schools want to hear 
    • When you are given the chance for school-specific supplemental essays, do not try to fit into the ‘model applicant’ mold because that is not the purpose of these essays. The purpose is to know more about you and what you can bring to the school; if you are trying too hard to make it seem like you are perfect for them, you are going to ineffectively write your own story. 
    • I would recommend you compile your stories/experiences into a document and when you are presented with a supplemental prompt, figure out how one of your experiences can fit into the prompt; not the other way around. Your goal is to highlight your experiences and their impact on you. 

  • Have someone look over your essays 
    • A pair of fresh eyes on your writing is helpful to clean up your ideas; it might make sense in your head but someone else might read it and might not understand what you were trying to say. Now there is still a line between getting other people’s inputs on your ideas/stories and your own form of writing. If you do not feel comfortable enough to show your essay to a parent/teacher; at least share it with a friend. 
    • Another part of getting someone else’s eyes on your writing is to catch any grammar issues. With that, everyone writes in their own way; some with longer compound sentences and some with short but strong statements. Your style should not be diminished, but regardless, there will always be some reviewing/tidying up to be done. 
      • Talking about grammar, Grammarly is essential for everyone writing academically, personally, and professionally

  • Do well on the required admission tests but after taking them, move on 
    • Universities in the US (majorly) review applications holistically, meaning that they take your extracurriculars, letters of recommendation, awards, essays, test scores, and GPA into consideration when reviewing your application. 
    • When high school students ask us what scores UC needs to be accepted, we explain that those numbers are just another marble in your basket of an application. 
    • When it comes to reviewing students for scholarships, we do focus on SAT/ACT and IB/AP/A-level/CLEP scores to gauge the estimated readiness level of a student for the rigor of college classes. 
      • Specific English and Math scores for your program can be found here
    • After you have taken your tests, I would recommend that you focus on other aspects of your application that you are passionate about 
      • For example, maybe you are finishing up a project for your school’s National Honor Society or you are still volunteering at your local animal shelter. After doing your best on standardized tests and in school exams, I think that reflecting on your past and future experiences will set up a foundationally strong mindset. 

  •  Reach out to older students or staff at your chosen university 
    • Create a support system before you start university because I know that most of your doubts/ concerns/ and curiosities can be sorted out ahead of time. 
    • Many universities have a general email account for their admissions office that you can send your questions. UC is great as we want to give you as many options as possible: 
      • Territory managers 
        • I would recommend reaching out to your territory manager (via email/WhatsApp) for more personal/specific questions. We have territory managers for each region of the world and so they typically are familiar with the questions you might have coming from a certain area (culture, language, school curriculum, etc.) 
      • Student Ambassadors
        • Our student ambassadors have been in your place and we are happy to guide you in any way that you might need. Maybe you want to know what a day in the life of [your major] looks like, or some advice for getting along with a roommate. 
        • Along with emailing/messaging us directly, you can read our posts on this blog for a conversation starter or overall guidance. 
      • Office email 
      • Typically, if one of us doesn’t know the answer, we can forward your email to someone who specializes in your question’s area.

Best of luck, hope to see you as a Bearcat one day! 

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