12 Application Tips
By Bekah James Pepper
As a former Advise TX College Adviser, I saw students make small errors on their college applications that had a huge impact on their admission. In honor of the 12th Man, I gathered 12 application tips to help prospective students during their admissions process. Here they are:
Verify your documents are received.
Check your email and admissions portal to ensure your application materials are submitted correctly. Utilize advisors and counselors to verify documents were sent on your behalf.
Remember important dates.
Make sure you know when the application opens and closes. Texas A&M’s application opens August 1 and closes December 1. Start preparing your materials ahead of time.
Tailor your application.
Even if you’re applying to multiple colleges, please don’t “copy & paste” between applications. Tailor your documents to the specific university in which you’re applying so you won’t accidentally reference another school in your essay.
Proofread, proofread, proofread.
Read over your entire application. If you can, have someone else proofread it too. Pay close attention to the spelling of your name, date of birth, social security number and contact information. That’s how schools keep track of different documents you submit. If there’s an error and your documents don’t match, it could take longer for you to get an admissions decision.
Make your essay original and fully developed.
Your essay should highlight your own voice and individual perspective. Focus on what makes you unique — tell us why having you on campus will make Texas A&M a better place. Make sure you fully develop your thoughts and clearly communicate them. To help you plan ahead, here is the essay prompt: Tell us your story.What unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced throughout your high school career that have shaped who you are today?
Complete the university scholarship application.
At Texas A&M, we include the university scholarship application in our admissions application. You should complete that no matter what. You might qualify for scholarships!
Promote yourself in your activities section.
On the Texas A&M application, we ask you to include activities you have participated in and how much time you spent doing those activities. Don’t forget to factor in travel time and practice time required when you calculate your hours. Also, highlight different leadership roles you’ve held. Boost yourself up!
Understand the role your major plays in your admissions decision.
Your choice of major does not impact your admission; however, you should apply early if possible because spots in majors fill up. If you apply later in the process, your major might be full when you’re admitted, meaning you would need to select a different major.
Set up your AIS account.
After you submit your application, you’ll receive emailed instructions to set up your Applicant Information System (AIS) account. This is where you’ll upload required documents and find out your admissions decision.
Remember to check your email.
Check your emails often. That’s how schools communicate with you about updates to your portal or if they need additional information from you. This is a good habit to learn for college because email is the primary form of communication.
Complete your Self-Reported Academic Record.
The Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR) is your academic history of high school performance. You will need your transcript to complete it. All the instructions are on your AIS portal, so please be sure to read them carefully.
Remember to upload other required documents.
On your AIS portal, there’s a checklist. It’s there to help you; make sure you complete each item.
Please don’t let a small mistake get between you and your future. Use these tips and reach out to an advisor if you have questions. You can do this!