Hi Everyone! This is the first post in a series by the admissions counselors here at Illinois Tech… we hope to give you a few insights from our end of things throughout the year 🙂
So. The application process. Most students tend to dread this part of looking at colleges… and I know. It can seem like a huge pain. But guys… this is your time to shine! I’m here to offer a few pieces of advice from the admission counselor stand point… so hopefully this helps you wade through that dreaded application.
1. The application: If you’re lucky enough to apply to schools that all use the Common App- that’s a win right there! Please take your time while filling this out.. the nice thing about the Common App is that you do not have to fill it out all in one go, you can save it and come back to edit later. (We’ll get to editing later)
a. You know that space where you can fill in your extracurricular activities? Don’t just list them… tell us what you did! Were you the President? Did you start the club? Show off a little, it’s ok.
2. Letter of Recommendation: Every counselor wants to know what you’re really like as a person. There are a few things you can do with a letter of rec… the first and foremost being, get a teacher to write at least one for you! We want to know about your academic abilities as well, and your teachers are our best source of information. This goes with a grain of salt… ask a teacher who you trust and have a relationship with. If they don’t know your name, it won’t be a great letter of rec. Then if you want to send in more (Illinois Tech accepts up to 3) you can ask a coach, a mentor, or another teacher!
3. The Essay: Why students dread this, I don’t know. As a counselor I enjoy reading the essays the most! I want to get to know you and this is where I can get a glimpse into who you are as a person. So, a few tips:
a. Make it real. Counselors read these all day long. We know what’s hokey and fake. Just be yourself. Write about something that’s important or interesting to you. If you’re really passionate about it, we’ll be able to tell and we will appreciate you for it.
b. Don’t turn in your first draft. I’m sure every English teacher out there has told his/her students this and it’s true everyone… writing is a process. Take your time, have mom or dad read it over and make some changes. You’ll be better off, I promise.
c. EDIT. Please, edit. Grammar and spelling are important, even if you’re never going to write a paper about Shakespeare ever again.
Thanks for reading about the application process… as always feel free to reach out to your counselor if you ever have questions- We’re here to help!