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How to Stand Out in College Applications

Updated: Feb 17, 2022

Do you have that extra "something" which makes you stand out from other college applicants?

There are many college candidates out there with impressive grade point averages and recommendation letters from their teachers testifying that they’re great kids. And those are good things, to be sure, and everybody going to college needs to have them. And everyone should thank those teachers, counselors, and coaches who were so generous with their valuable time and wrote those letters.

But one way to set yourself apart from the crowd is by building a resume that goes beyond grades and distinguishes you as a leader, a productive citizen, and a humanitarian who takes initiative.

Be Involved With Community Service Projects

A great way to do this is with community service projects, such as organizing food drives for disaster relief, participating with organizations such as the Red Cross or Habitat for Humanity, getting involved in an altruistic church mission, or making you way through the ranks of Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts.

Create Opportunities For Yourself

As stated by U.S. News writer, Margaret Loftus, in her article, 6 Tips From College Admissions Pros on Standing Out, "college counselors have long urged high school students to find and focus on their passion. But developing it to create new opportunities for yourself and others can really grab the attention of admissions officers." If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, show how you developed a successful Etsy account where your profits assisted in the payment of taking classes to enhance your marketing and sales productivity.

Maintain a Polished and Appropriate Social Media Presence

According to a 2020 article by InsiderEd, they learned that "32 percent of admission officers say that what they found [on an applicant's social media] had a negative impact."

The possibilities are endless, but the bottom line is that by showing the college admissions personnel that you are the kind of student who would make worthwhile contributions to their university and be an outstanding citizen that they would be proud to call an alumnus can go a long way to getting your foot in the door.

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