Whether you are freshly graduated from high school or have taken some time out to travel or work, applying to university is, at best, an intimidating task. Many students question if they are up to the standard that their university is after, even if they have an academic history that boasts nothing but A’s! So, if you are feeling a bit intimidated, don’t worry!
However, university applications are nothing to be brushed under the rug. When it comes to applying to university, students often face intense competition and need to find ways to stand out from other applicants. Why? Because if you blend in, you won’t be seen, and you will be unlikely to get into the university that you want.
So, here are 5 ways that students can make their university applications stand out, as well as a short FAQ section to help you refine your application. Enjoy!
1. Demonstrate Academic Excellence
Even universities that are not in the Ivy League are looking for students who have a strong academic background, so maintaining good grades throughout high school is essential. If you are a mature student who is looking to attend university, you can increase your chances of getting into your first choice by brushing up on your academic skills before applying.
Those who are going to university straight from an educational setting should strive to excel in challenging classes, take advanced courses, and aim for a high GPA. Standardized test scores such as the SAT or ACT may also be required, so students should take these tests seriously and prepare accordingly.
A website like Campus Reel can help you to prepare the academic aspects of your application by providing details of admissions and GPA requirements at establishments like the University of Florida, among many others. So be sure to look around online for how best to present your accomplishments in this area; it will make all the difference!
2. Pursue Extracurricular Activities
It is all well and good to have a great academic background, but most universities want more from their students.
Admissions committees also want to see that students are well-rounded and have interests beyond academics. Participating in extracurricular activities demonstrates initiative, leadership skills, and a willingness to take on challenges. Whether it’s playing a sport, joining a club, volunteering, or pursuing a hobby, students should choose activities that showcase their passions and talents.
Of course, it is usually better to engage in activities that involve teamwork or group cooperation, but if you are applying to an art-based university, this may not be such a big deal due to art not really being a group endeavor!
3. Write a Compelling Personal Statement
The personal statement part of your university application is an opportunity for students to showcase their personality, goals, and unique qualities. A compelling personal statement tells a story that captures the reader’s attention and highlights the student’s strengths and achievements. Students should take the time to reflect on their experiences, brainstorm ideas, and seek feedback from teachers, counselors, or mentors.
This will help to set your application apart and will also give you the space to explore your reasons for wanting to study at the university that you have chosen, as well as to explain why you want to study the topic.
4. Obtain Strong Letters of Recommendation
When it comes to university applications, letters of recommendation provide insight into a student’s character, academic abilities, and potential. Students should choose recommenders who know them well and can speak to their strengths, such as teachers, coaches, or mentors. It’s important to ask recommenders well in advance and provide them with any necessary materials, such as a resume or transcript.
While it seems obvious, don’t choose a college professor or teacher at your high school who doesn’t know you to write your recommendation letter. Aim for someone that you have a good relationship with, who can attest to your personal qualities.
5. Demonstrate a Genuine Interest in the University
Admissions committees want to see students who have done their research into the school that they are applying to and are genuinely interested in attending their university. Students can demonstrate their interest by attending college fairs, visiting campus, and engaging with current students and alumni. When writing their personal statement, students should also explain why they are interested in the university and how it aligns with their academic and career goals.
At this point in the article, you are likely to have some questions about the university application process.
So, here are 5 commonly searched queries with answers to help you along. Enjoy!
1. What are universities looking for in a standout application?
Universities generally look for a combination of academic excellence, extracurricular activities, leadership skills, and personal qualities that align with the university’s values and mission. Students who can demonstrate these qualities through their application materials have a better chance of standing out.
2. How important is the personal statement in a university application?
The personal statement is a vital component of a university application, as it provides a glimpse into a student’s personality, goals, and experiences. A well-written personal statement can make a student stand out and demonstrate their fit for the university and program. Admissions committees often use the personal statement to gauge a student’s writing ability, critical thinking skills, and motivation to succeed in college.
3. How can students showcase their leadership skills in a university application?
Universities value leadership skills as they demonstrate a student’s ability to take initiative, work collaboratively, and inspire others. Students can showcase their leadership skills through extracurricular activities, such as leading a club, organizing a community service project, or participating in a leadership program. They can also discuss their leadership experiences in their personal statement and provide examples of how they have made a positive impact.
4. What should students include in their letters of recommendation?
Letters of recommendation provide insight into a student’s character, academic abilities, and potential. Students should choose recommenders who know them well and can speak to their strengths, such as teachers, coaches, or mentors. The letter should highlight the student’s academic achievements, personal qualities, and potential for success in college. Students should also provide their recommenders with any necessary materials, such as a resume or transcript.
5. How can students demonstrate their genuine interest in a university?
Universities want to admit students who are genuinely interested in attending their institution. Students can demonstrate their interest by attending college fairs, visiting campus, and sending emails to lecturers in their desired field. They can also research the university’s programs, faculty, and mission and incorporate this information into their personal statement. Finally, students can reach out to admissions counselors with any questions or concerns and show that they have a strong desire to attend the university.