College Application Process Overview

The length of the application process varies for each person, spanning anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. The application is a presentation that articulates a clear vision of you, your strengths and weaknesses, your experiences and objectives and the various difficulties you have surmounted throughout your life.
We recommend the basic step-by-step itinerary to a successful application:

  1. Study for the SAT
  2. Take the SAT
  3. Gather application forms
  4. Figure out which schools are ideal to apply to. Research potential fits, visit campuses, talk to students and alumni. Schedule an informational interview with an admissions officer if possible
  5. Update and refine your resume
  6. Solicit recommendations
  7. Write application essays for schools you chose to apply for
  8. Complete and gather other application items - personal information, resume, short-answer questions, transcripts, etc.
  9. Proofread and polish application with an intense focus on all details
  10. Send in applications according to deadlines
  11. Prepare for interviews

College Essays

Essays are your best chance to distinguish yourself among candidates applying to top colleges. Take this part of the application seriously, and think a lot about how you want an admissions board to see you. Brainstorm various strategies and pick the one that will best present this image.

Undergraduate GPA

Your undergraduate GPA plays a smaller-than-expected role in an admission to college. Of course, graduating with honors helps, but even if your high school career was less than spectacular, a top college will still admit you if you present a convincing case. Your essays can elaborate on the reasons why you will have a successful experience at college, and demonstrate your intelligence through a high SAT score.

College Letters of Recommendation & Interviews

The last parts of a college applications are the letters of recommendation and interviews. Both function similarly to the essay: they provide a space for you to convince an admissions board of your candidacy's worth. Being personable or having convincing recommendations from noteworthy individuals can each make a marked difference, and distinguish you from the candidates you are competing with for admittance to college.

Making a Compelling Application

When your application arrives at your favorite college, the officers are not deciding whether to accept or reject you, but rather your application. Therefore, you need to make your application reflect your abilities, personality, background, interests, and past performance.

Don’t Hesitate – Starting Early Pays Off

Don’t wait until senior year to download the applications you need. Ideally, you will begin familiarizing yourself with your college applications and their requirements during the spring of your junior year. You will need time to carefully gather the necessary information and compile lists of activities and honors. If you can begin writing your essays over the summer, you will save plenty of time; just make sure to ask the admissions offices whether or not they plan on changing the essays in the fall.

Submitting your application as early as possible is always beneficial. Close to the deadline date, admissions officers must read close to 100 applications a day, but early in the season, they read only a handful a day. If the admissions officer has more time to consider your application in a thoughtful way, your chances are greatly improved. Also, an early submission suggests that you are quite serious about your interest in the school, even when you do not select Early Action or another similar option.

Extracurricular Activities and Your Application

You cannot fool college admissions officers by presenting an extremely long list of extracurricular activities in your application. While it is true that colleges want to make sure that you are doing something worthwhile in your spare time, it is not necessary to be a member of 20 different clubs, sports, or organizations. However, if you spend 20 hours a week at one particular activity, and you have become the mainstay of that organization, that’s impressive. 

Extracurricular activity lists should demonstrate:

  • Dedication and Loyalty
  • Well-Roundedness
  • Social Awareness and Sophistication
  • Leadership Capacity

First Jobs and Student Resumes

As a high school student, it is not expected that you will have a lengthy resume. However, having a job in high school can impress admissions officers. It is a good idea include the number of hours per week you normally work at your job, and any leadership positions that you’ve held. Your job doesn’t need to be unusual, but your dedication is what matters. Some schools permit additional recommendation letters from job supervisors, and a glowing report of your maturity, work ethic, and problem-solving skills can be a real boon.

Look after your applications!

If you apply online, always save a copy of your essays on your hard drive, and also a backup copy on CD or other removable drive. Take your time, and do your best to present yourself in the best light possible.

Admissions Consulting Services at a Glance

Comprehensive Packages

  • Dedicated Pack - Includes Application Strategy, Essay Review, Resume Review & Mock Interview
  • Elite Pack - Prompt, 7-day access to educational consultant, Application Strategy, Essay Review, Resume Review, Unlimited Mock Interview

A la Carte Services

  • Essay Review - Options include Single Essay (up to 800 words), Mini Pack (Single Essay + Resume Review) and Essay Review for all essays from one or more schools
  • Application Strategy - 2 hour minimum consultation with our education experts to map out application process
  • Mock Interview - 2 hour minimum preparation with our education expert to prepare for upcoming interview with admissions office
  • Case Interview - 2 hour minimum preparation with our expert to prepare for upcoming consulting case or job interview
  • Rejection Analysis - 2 hour minimum consultation with our education expert to evaluate weaknesses in rejected applications and plan next steps
  • Waitlist Strategy - 2 hour minimum consultation with our education expert to evaluate weaknesses in a waitlisted application, and make recommendations for interim period
  • Scholarship Application Review - Our consultants will identify specific scholarships to apply for, work with you to identify strengths that correlate with the stated objectives of the scholarship and review the applications to ensure your chance of receiving the scholarship is as high as possible
 

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Our highly effective Admissions Consultants have the expertise to help you get accepted to the school of your top choice!

"For my Admissions Consulting service, my consultant provided his expertise on editing and structural arrangement of ideas and helped me product finished final products. I received admissions from both my dream schools which are top tier schools. Today, as I decide to join one of them. I cannot thank Craig enough for his services. He is very experienced and uses his experience to guide user on the right track as far as the flow of the essay is concerned. Well, this is besides the excellent editing skills he has. Thanks Manhattan Elite Prep!" (5 out of 5 Rating on Google+)

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