However, it’s also important to look at the other side of the equation. Let’s take some time to think about who reviews your application.
The biggest thing to remember is that the people reading your application are real people. So what do you need to keep in mind while filling out your application?
2. The person reading your application is overworked, so don’t be obscure in your language or your structure just to seem unique. Most schools use a simple rubric where a certain GPA will give you a certain number of points, your SAT is worth another, your extracurricular activities another, and so on. If this total number exceeds their requirement, they’ll send you a letter of acceptance. That means everything you’ve done for the past 4 years will be combined into a single number. The easier you make it for your reviewer to calculate this number, the better your chances of acceptance. Don’t force him or her to think about the number to assign. Make the admissions officer’s job easy, and they’ll be more likely to reward you.
3. There’s a certain degree of randomness involved in college admissions. Since these applications are read by a human, not a machine, there’s always some arbitrariness involved in the decision. Maybe the reviewer has a cold or is just having a bad day. Unfortunately, these small things impact the final decision. The flip side, of course, is that maybe he or she got some good news and is feeling especially generous. The point is, the decision may be unfair in your favor or not in your favor. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket by only applying to one school. The only way counteract this randomness is to apply to many schools.
In short, remember to keep in mind that the person reading your application is a real person. Keep things simple, to the point, and obvious. Follow all directions carefully. Don’t do more than you are asked. Remember that there’s a certain degree of randomness, so apply to several schools.