Tips from a College Admissions Representative


To mark the time of year when high school seniors are emerged in college applications, Siena students and their families participated in a Mock Admissions Committee with a representative from Goucher College. They learned about all the different pieces of a college application before reading three mock applications and deciding whom to admit, whom to waitlist, and whom to reject.

As he led them through the activity, the admissions representative from Goucher spoke about how to make your application stand out. Here are some of his tips:
  • Write your college essay about an activity or event that was particularly important to you. Your goal should be that if you dropped the essay on the floor in your school, and forgot to put your name on it, someone would be able to pick it up and recognize your voice. This means that you're fully showcasing your personality and experiences.
  • In your list of activities, highlight your commitment to a few activities that showed how you deeply explored your interests. Colleges also love to see that you've had a summer or after school job.
  • Strategize with the teachers who are writing your letters of recommendation. Explain what you're writing your essay about and what activities you're emphasizing in your application. That way they can also mention them. Colleges like to see continuity in applications.
  • Visit your guidance office and get a list of when representatives from colleges will visit your school. These representatives are responsible for reading applications they receive from your school. Be sure to introduce yourself and explain why you're excited about applying to their college. This will help representatives make a personal connection with you that they'll remember when they read your application.
  • Finally, 2 to 3 weeks after you've submitted your applications, call or email each college to double check that they have everything they need from you to review your application. They'll appreciate your follow through!

Using these tips will really help distinguish you in the college process. Good luck with your applications!

If you have questions about how Siena approaches the college process, please email Marian Carpenter, College Counseling Coordinator at The Siena School and author of this post.

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