With grades, class rank, test scores, etc., the biggest challenge of the application package is getting beyond the statistics and presenting a three-dimensional picture of you.
By now, you may have recognized a consistent theme of this guide: You are more than a number. You're actually a series of numbers!
Kidding aside, you and your family will be completing endless, mind-numbing forms that will be added to your transcripts, score reports, financial data, and more.
So How Do You Break Out from the Pack?
At this point in the process, your data is your data. So, it's important to focus on the areas that you can still influence. The essay, interviews, and letters of recommendation are the vehicles through which admission committees can get a more complete picture of you as a human being—rather than a compilation of stats.
Be Your Own Advocate.
Colleges want a diverse group of students who can contribute to the overall campus environment in a positive way. Show your enthusiasm and tailor your message to fit the college. If a particular school has something that really attracts you, tell them why. And tell them how your particular interests, personality, and skill set could add to it.
Choose Great Advocates for You.
There's nothing more compelling than a great letter of recommendation from someone who really knows you and can convey your unique abilities. Don't just go for a "name" who will write a form letter on your behalf. Choose recommenders who really know you.
Finally, Do Your Homework.
If you're really interested in a school, show it. Do the background work before any interviews or before you write your essay. Be specific about what attracts you to the school and why it will benefit from your attendance. You have a lot to offer—you just have to convey it in a compelling way.