College Application Tips from the iSchool

iSchool Application Tips for High School Students

I know this time of year is so hectic and stressful when it comes to finalizing those college applications. You have a lot on your mind:

  • Where should I visit?
  • Is my college essay good enough?
  • Did I miss a deadline?
  • Did I get all my letters of recommendation in?
  • What should I say in my supplemental essays?
  • Should I take an elective next semester, or an AP course?
  • How will I balance my extracurriculars and test prep?

That’s a lot for anyone to balance.

It’s completely normal to feel stressed and overwhelmed. In order to help you through the college application chaos, I have a few tips for applying to Syracuse University!

1. There is no such thing as a perfect college essay

Yes, I said it. I know this is the last thing a stressed out person wants to hear. The point of your essay is to show the admissions committee who you are as a human being. At Syracuse University, we read the entire application. I mean it, we have a large staff reading your essays and supplemental essays. Use this as an opportunity to tell me something I cannot find in the Common Application. A lot of students tell me about the goal they scored and about their loving parents. All those things are wonderful but it doesn’t tell me anything unique about YOU.

2. Avoid Senioritis!

Syracuse University cares about academic rigor. That means we want students who challenge themselves.

The best students are the ones that ask questions. They are inquisitive and curious about the world we live in. Take courses that challenge how you think to prepare you for college. Take courses that interest you and push you further.

Take the next step.

Harness the power of information with a Bachelor's in Information Management & Technology.

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3. Be authentic

You know when you see a staged Instagram photo, and you think to yourself: that’s completely fake? Believe it or not, admissions committees can get that same feeling when we read a college application.

Don’t make giant leaps in your college essay just because you think an admissions counselor wants to hear about it. Remember the first point: there’s no such thing as a perfect college essay. Tell me about you!

Struggling to come up with an idea? Everyone makes makes mistakes, so don’t be afraid to tell us how you learned from your mistakes. I know in high school it’s hard to be different. In college, being different is an advantage! Perhaps you’re witty, creative, silly, an avid reader or a great break dancer. If you can connect your unique traits to why you’re applying to college, that will serve you well.

4. Don’t worry

All in all, don’t sweat the small stuff. Write an application that is illustrative of you and who you are, and you will end up exactly where you are supposed to be.

Stephanie Worden

Stephanie Worden

Stephanie Worden is the Recruiting Specialist for undergraduate programs at the iSchool and Project Manager of the It Girls Overnight Retreat 2016. Stephanie is passionate about emerging information technology and the social and political impacts of IT. Stephanie has her MA in Media Arts and Studies with a focus in telecommunications policy and political science from the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University.

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