The Not-To-Do List Written by College Admissions Officers

College applicants dream of getting into their top choice colleges, but, being teenagers, may not always make the best choices, and to be fair, neither do their parents. Here are some of the pet peeves of college admissions officers Joseph Connolly, a guidance counselor at New Oxford High School in New Oxford, Pennsylvania, learned from members of the National Association for College Admissions Counselors.

The annoyances centered around the areas of Communication, Not doing your homework, Gimmick overkill, overzealous parents, campus visits, and essay. Here are some of the highlights below:

  • Offensive or silly email addresses
  • Paying attention to your phone during an interview
  • Not responding to emails or responding using texting shorthand
  • Stating that you'd like to major in a major not offered by the university
  • Not spell checking your application
  • Using the wrong college name in an essay
  • Sending gifts from a cake in the shape of the school's mascot to life-sized sculptures
  • Parents attending interviews and jumping into the conversation
  • Not dressing appropriately for campus visits
  • Wearing a different college's sweatshirt when visiting a school
  • Acting bored and distracted when visiting and/or interviewing
  • Not answering all parts of an essay or responding to a question not asked
  • Writing about accomplishments many years prior to applying to college

Make sure to check out the complete list here before you turn in your applications!

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