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The Applicants Counselors Dread

December 19, 2016


As college counselors, we have dealt with different personality types that have one thing in common – they are all applying to universities across the world. Here are the ones that cause themselves the most damage:


The Procrastinator: They always want to do things ‘later’. Now is not the time for them to write college essays, or do their research, or fill the application form, because they are always busy with something more important. Often ‘later’ is too late and the quality of their application suffers.


The Test-Taker: They are always re-taking the standardized tests. Never satisfied with their scores, they register for the SAT, Subject SAT or ACT numerous times. Often, they are taking the standardized tests right up until December of the Senior year. They find themselves unable to submit any Early applications and often their school grades suffer due to the test prep they are busy in.


The Worrier: They constantly worry about the future – the future with regard to their courses, grades, test scores, the recommendations their teachers will write for them, if their scores will reach the universities in time.


The Nerd: The nerds are quite an over-confident bunch. Our education system has made them believe that they are invincible because they have good grades. But sadly US universities are looking for much more than grades. This comes as a surprise to them and often by then it is too late for them to involve themselves in extra-curricular activities.


The Activities Champ: On the other hand, there are students that are involved in numerous extra-curricular activities. Sports, theatre, music, MUN, community service……….so many activities that very often they have no time for academics. The balance is critical and universities are looking for the student who can balance activities with academics.


The Mummy-type: These mothers is more involved in the process than they kids are. She is booking their standardized tests, finding test prep centers, attending college visits and counselling workshops, writing their essays along with researching colleges and universities. In many cases, she will also do the unthinkable to writing to admissions officers and international offices with queries for her offspring.


BEWARE: Don’t be any one of these. Manage the college application process and treat is as a preparation to manage life at university.

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