Applying to university is never a simple process. Even though you’ve already been through the process for your undergraduate degree, the master’s application program is just as rigorous. As you work on your application, follow these college application tips to make it the best it can be.
- Start as soon as possible
You want as much time as you need to work on your essay, get reference letters, and fill our the application. Leaving it until the last minute will not only stress you out, but likely result in a poorer app. You need enough time to develop your unique story and sell yourself as best as possible Give yourself ample time – then add a few weeks.
- Set yourself apart
Schools aren’t interested in students who seemed to spend 5 minutes doing lots of activities. Take initiative in your community to start an organization, lead a volunteer group, or start your own small business. Working in this way is very impressive to universities, and shows them that you are a student they would be proud to consider an alumni. Taking this time to pursue a passion project can also help you determine what direction you want your career to go in.
- Visit the school
Agreeing to attend a school without visiting first is setting you up for a risky first date. Take the time to visit campus and make sure it feels like a place you would want to be. Does it offer the programming facilities you need? Are there housing options that work with your lifestyle? There are an array of things to consider, and visiting will help answer a lot of questions. Ask if there are opportunities to sit in on lectures as well as spend time driving around the surrounding city. Visiting the school and going on an official tour also shows your interest in the program to the admissions office.
- Focus on the essay
Your essay is one of the most important parts of your application, next to your transcript and any test scores. It’s your chance to show who you are and why you are passionate about the school, the program, or your future. There’s no such thing as a “perfect” essay – it’s just about what showcases you. Don’t think about what the admissions office “wants to read.” Focus on telling the story you want them to hear about your. The purpose of the essay is to help the admissions committee fully understand the potential difference you can make in the class and how your background and experience will move the campus community forward.
- Find the right editor
Asking a parent to read over your essay is not necessarily the best technique. Find an objective reader, such as a current teacher or a mentor. Give your personal statement to a counselor or teacher who does not know you for critique. If you are writing about what makes you unique, special or interesting, ask your oldest and closest friends. They may be able to describe what makes you special better than you can.
- Allow for delivery error
Don’t wait until the last day to mail it or press “send.” First, the earlier you send it, the better, as admissions officers will begin going through your application as soon as they receive it. But you also need to allow extra time in case it gets lost in the mail or there is a computer error. The last thing you want is your perfected application to get thrown out because it was late.