Admissions Tip #8: Poofread
Proofread everything you send us. (Did I really write “poofread”?)
It’s not a text message, it’s not Facebook chat, it is your college application. Or, in some cases, it’s simply an e-mail to an admissions counselor – who might be helping to make a decision on your application. As a member of the Board of Admissions, I read hundreds of applications and e-mails and am always amazed at the frequency with which I find careless errors. This week, I read an application and the very first word of the student’s essay was misspelled. If you want to grab our attention with a great opening sentence, it’s best to at least get the spelling right.
This fall, I was traveling in California visiting high schools and attending college fairs when I stopped at a store for a quick shopping trip. Towards the back, I found this sign:
This is a great metaphor for common pitfalls in the application. Telling us about your involvement with the National Honors Society is great; but that organization doesn’t exist (did you catch it? It’s the National Honor Society). You were trying to convey your academic achievements, and instead the error implies that you didn’t spend much time proofreading your application. In the case of this store, trying to express the quality of merchandise without the letter “l” sends a more negative message about quality than if the sign wasn’t even on the wall.
Before clicking “submit,” take a few more minutes for the final proofread. You’ll feel better about your application, and the committee will be better able to focus on you, not careless mistakes and typos.