Application Review

College Application Preparation

It is not about packaging yourself—it is about presenting your best.

When you’ve finally reached the time to fill out your college applications, the reality of college admissions can come crashing down. What if you make a mistake, and what if you get to a question that you’re not sure how to answer? It is important that you understand how to showcase all of your hard work and accomplishments over the past few years on your application. The experienced college experts at Going Ivy help students from high schools throughout Phoenix with preparing their college applications and reviewing them so that students understand how to present their stories more effectively.

Going Ivy Can Help

At Going Ivy, our highly knowledgeable and ethics-driven counselors and tutors truly believe it is not about packaging your application to get into your dream college, it is about presenting your authentic self to your readers. We know what committees look for when they are reviewing applications and their supplementary materials. We are graduates of Brophy and Xavier Prep, and we help students from those schools as well as from any public or private high school in the Valley.

Application Preparation Tips

Before beginning the application process, it is important that you have already decided on your top-choice schools and others on your list, and the strategy and timing of your applications. Choose the schools that you plan to apply to wisely, and make sure that you know whether or not they participate in the Common Application. While many colleges do, some, including those in the University of California system, do not. After you have figured out what application materials your schools require, it is time for you to gather your information and to start the process early.

Your Going Ivy counselors will encourage you to complete your applications as soon as possible. You do not want to wait until the last minute and rush to try to beat deadlines. If your grades are excellent and your SAT or ACT scores are enviable, you might decide to apply to your top-choice school by its Early Decision or Early Action deadline, and reap the advantages of doing so (learn more about those advantages here). If you do, understand that the deadlines for submission are much earlier, and there may be interview deadlines as well. Check with the school to find out, and give yourself plenty of time. In addition to yourself, give others the time that they need as well. You should ask your teachers and others who you want to write your recommendations at least a month or more in advance.

Create an Application Completion Schedule

Creating a schedule with your Phoenix Going Ivy adviser can help you to prioritize tasks and quickly see all of the upcoming deadlines. One of the key issues many students have is forgetting to do something, forcing them to rush to meet their deadlines or to miss them. Organizational skills are important and will serve you well both during your application process as well as later when you are in college. Pencil in a note to remind your recommenders at least two weeks before your application deadlines to submit their letters.

Include the Important Details

Some students rush through their applications, failing to include the important details about their lives beyond school, or they don’t know how to distill the details into a small space provided. These types of details can help admissions officers to see you in context rather than as a sum of your grades and scores. By including these details in a thoughtful way, your application can become a living testament to you, allowing you to step from its pages in your first reader’s mind. Most students need help with the subtleties here, usually because they are too close to it. Going Ivy advisers are those neutral eyes to help you.

Know Your Audience

Admissions officers are human, and they want to know that you are ambitious and truly interested in their schools. You should clearly communicate your interest in your applications. One way to do this is to tailor your essays for each of the schools to which you are applying. When you use one generic essay and send it off to multiple schools, it is more difficult for you to demonstrate your interest effectively. While you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, adjusting your essay to fit each school’s essay prompts and mentioning important details about the school can help.

If Something is Optional, it Isn’t

Many elite schools say that such things as one additional recommender or a supplemental essay are optional. Treat them as if they are required. Give yourself every chance on your application and supplements to stand out. This also extends to optional SAT subject tests. Submit everything that the school either requires or states is optional so that your admissions officer has even more reasons to want to choose you over other applicants.

Help from Going Ivy

At Going Ivy, we understand how overwhelming the college application process can be. We also know how to complete the Common Application and how students can order the information effectively so that they shine. We help our students to understand how to present themselves in the best light in their applications and how they can address any weaknesses in a way that doesn’t discourage admissions offers from wanting them to attend. We also can help you by reviewing your completed applications before you submit them to make certain that they are free of errors and contain all of the important information about you. Contact Going Ivy today to learn more about how we can help you through the college application process.

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