college application mistakes

‘Tis the college application season, and on the latest episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation, host Beth Heaton treats her listeners to a top five list of college application mistakes and the answers to a myriad of college admission and finance questions posed by our podcast listeners. 

Beth’s first guest, Jennifer Simons, a new and very knowledgeable addition to the College Coach team, offers her list of top five mistakes students make in the college application process. While I am going to reveal what they are here, make sure to tune in to get some valuable suggestions on how to avoid making them!

#1:  Inadequately researching your college list to fully understand (and be able to communicate) why you are applying to certain colleges.

#2:  Getting too caught up in how your peers are faring in the college application process.

#3:  Failing to use your authentic voice in your essays.

#4:  Forgetting to carefully proofread your final application submission and NOT relying on automated grammar and spell check tools. (You’ll enjoy the painful but humorous stories they share about students whose applications fell into this category.)

#5: Waiting until the last minute to prepare your application and click submit.

After this segment, yours truly joins Beth to answer some wide-ranging listener questions, including:

  • Can I fill out the FAFSA now?
  • How is a classical high school curriculum viewed in the college admission process?
  • What do I need to gather to complete financial aid forms?
  • How many AP classes do I need to take?
  • Will I lose the balance in my 529 Plan if my child doesn’t need it all?
  • I’m undecided about my major—is that a problem? How will this affect my college choice?
  • Should we spend our 529 Plan up front, or spread it out over four years?
  • When we visit a college should we explore on our own or do the official tour and info session?

Be sure to join us for our next episode when we’ll discuss the pros and cons of applying Early Action, dissect the Georgia Tech and Emory supplemental essays, and get an inside look at the Northeastern University Financial Aid Office.

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Written by Kathy Ruby
Kathy Ruby is a member of College Coach’s team of college finance experts. Before joining College Coach, Kathy was as a Senior Financial Aid Officer at St. Olaf College and Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania.