College Application Tips

January 5, 2013 8:13:00 AM PST
Until about February 15, most applications for college are due. That means right now, many high school seniors are stressing over those important application and merit money letters.

So what should you include and what should you leave out in order for your letter to stand out? Bill Motzer, VP of Admissions and Career Services at Lake Forest College, and Christy Weiss, Educational Consultant and previously Director of College Counseling at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, came into our ABC7 studio armed with tips for students and their parents.

Last-Minute Tips For Getting Into College

  • Read Your Essay Out Loud
  • Keep Your Voice
  • List activities in order of importance, not chronological order
  • Don't list everything; focus on activities where you had leadership roles
  • Keep senior year grades strong, and share them with the colleges
  • Demonstrate interest: email admission's rep assigned to work with your school; send updates on grades, new awards or activities
  • Parents: let students write their own essays and contact schools; model resilience and a positive attitude
  • Send supplements

Tips For Attracting Merit Money & Scholarship

  • Submit the FAFSA ASAP
  • Good sources of merit scholarships: Dollars for Scholars,,,, Naviance
  • Have a hook - a special talent, passion, or achievement that sets you apart; make hook "pop"
  • Retake the ACT or SAT - higher grades and test scores generate more merit aid
  • Check the policy of each school with regard to consideration of multiple ACT/SAT scores.