DeLoggio Education Consulting

Selection of and Preparation for College and Professional Programs

Completing the Applications

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The year is 2017, and the age of paper applications is behind us. Almost every college, graduate or professional school uses some kind of common application. And that's a terrible problem.

Many applicants see the common application and think that it is in fact identical for every school. They don't read carefully, to find out that one school asks for the family income, while another asks for the income of each family member. They don't notice that one school asks your nationality well another asks your country of origin. And, most importantly, they don't notice that one school allows you 500 words for an essay while another allows 750; and if you send only 500 words to the school that allows 750, you are disqualifying yourself – not only because you didn't take the time to work on the essay further, but because they know that you didn't care enough to read their slightly different instructions.

Medical schools present a slightly different problem. They do indeed use an identical "common application" for the first round of recommendations, grades, and essay; but if they like you, they often send you a Round Two application, and that application might have 20 more questions and three more essays. And the responses may be do a week after you receive it. So if you don't anticipate the second round essay questions by looking on the appropriate chat boards, you may be forced to abandon one or more schools for lack of time.

Online applications also make proofreading much more difficult. Most people do not realize that the font you are seeing as you enter information is controlled by settings on your browser. For instance, I know that my entire webpage is set for the font called "Lynda" at a medium size. But what you will see is controlled by the settings that you have on your browser. And if an application is submitted through an online portal, it is often converted into a PDF document, and the font used in the PDF document is the one specified by the school. So if you don't proofread the PDF as carefully as you did when you were entering the information, you may not notice that your answer is cut off mid-word, because the school used a larger font than you did.

Understanding the mechanics of whatever online application you're working with is crucial to successfully submitting a neat application. Moreover, the time and effort it takes to make the document or application legible for the admissions office can show the kind of attention to detail and concern for the admission staff that can sway a close call in your direction.

Just last week (mid-June, 2017) a student and I were submitting an application that had three 500 word essays. He copied and pasted each essay into the appropriate , then generated the PDF. And each of the essays came out as one long paragraph without line breaks. We tried inserting extra line breaks; we tried inserting tabs; we would have tried my favorite trick, inserting a word and then turning the text white so that it will be invisible, but we were unable to control the text color. Finally, we inserted a "five em" underscore, _____ , where the paragraph breaks belonged. It still didn't format the paragraphs onto nice new lines, but at least it showed both that the applicant understood paragraph structure and that the applicant had tried very hard to indicate the paragraph structure to the reader. That's almost always worth something in the admissions process.

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Completing the Application

Follow Instructions!

Almost Following Instructions

Binding Early Decision?

Being Admitted and Staying Admitted

What's really going inside the admissions room for Ivies?

I speak 13 languages, what are my chances at MIT?

Do the letters or recommendation submitted online via the official school email need to be stamped or signed?

What are my chances of getting into MSU?

Is it okay to put unofficially rounded up grades on the University of California application?

What would happen if I graduated college with 4 GPA?

Should I report all my AP scored, including ones I got 1 on, on Common App, if only one of my college wants all?

Because the UCs don't require letter of recommendations, how will they know what ec's you actually did?

How important is Northwestern University's "why Northwestern?" question in comparison to the rest of the application?

On my SoP for an engineering masters application, I used "weather" for "whether". Is that going to be too much of a problem?

I provided a wrong passport number on my ETS profile. How can I change it?

Do Colleges send better students letters of acceptance first or really in batches like they say?

I was admitted to UIUC but I found out that input a wrong grade in the application. What would happen to me?

Would the admissions office know if I previously contacted them before on admissions questions?

How do the universities consider the ACT test performance of a foreign student?

If I apply to university a second after gap year after being rejected once, will my decision be affected?

Many of these (through June 2015) had been posted on my Facebook DeLoggio Achievement page -- Facebook or on the 5th Edition of this page. But they have never been posted on Quora, so only the DeLoggio Copyright applies.






The links below this line are proprietary to neither the DeLoggio Achievement Program nor Quora. They may have been linked to one or both sites, but without copyright:

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