5 Biggest College Application Mistakes

Admissions Experts List What Not To Do When Applying to College

Mar 21, 2011, 06:00 ET from Aristotle Circle

NEW YORK, March 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Aristotle Circle, the leading expert network of admissions counselors, surveyed its top advisors about the 5 biggest mistakes students and families applying to college make.

1.) COMPROMISING ADMISSIONS - High school guidance counselors are overburdened. They have limited time per student and an increasing number of students and applications to oversee. “No matter how hard your guidance counselor works and wants you to succeed, the responsibility of getting into college lies with you,” points out Donna Zilkha, director of college services at Aristotle Circle. She explains that while often a public high school guidance counselor's strength is in course selection and transcripts, families may consider other outlets to get help with the SAT or ACT exam, a specific colleges' admissions process, sporting competitions, summer programs and other facets of the application. Zilkha's blog: http://www.aristotlecircle.com/blog/defense-high-school-guidance-counselor.

2) FACEBOOK FIASCO - Posting too much information on Facebook. Risque photos in various states of undress, party photos, or scurrilous slams will bring the wrong attention from admissions departments. Aristotle Circle expert Risa Lewak, author of Don't Stalk the College Admissions Officer notes: "I see kids posting pictures of themselves doing shots. Why ruin your chances before you've even applied?" Lewak's blog: http://www.aristotlecircle.com/blog/q-could-my-digital-footprint-affect-my-college-chances.

3) MESSY MESSAGING - All parts of the application must give a complete and consistent impression of the student, from the application to the essay to the letters of recommendation. Pam Proctor, Aristotle Circle expert and author of "The College Hook"  advises "Emphasize your hook by weaving it through the entire application." Proctor's blog: http://www.aristotlecircle.com/blog/messy-messaging-%E2%80%93-all-application-documents-should-reflect-unified-message.

4) THE PARENT TRAP - Despite the best intentions, parents are often the least qualified experts to assess, evaluate, or edit the college essay.  Aristotle Circle expert and independent college counselor Susan Warner adds: "Most parents have been out of the college scene for 30 years." Warner's blog: http://www.aristotlecircle.com/blog/why-parents-arent-best-college-essay-editors-their-children.

5) DREAM TEAM - Each school is looking for the right mix of students that will do well and reflect well on the school's reputation. Aristotle Circle expert and Columbia Business School graduate Keith London notes: "Consider what you (or your child) can provide the school with and what the school's objective might be." London's blog: http://www.aristotlecircle.com/blog/how-show-colleges-you-are-what-they-are-looking.

About Aristotle Circle:

Aristotle Circle connects parents to experts with current insight and inside knowledge of admissions from pre-K to graduate school.  Aristotle Circle's network of more than 250 elite experts currently serves over 1000 clients in 30 states and 15 countries and includes top admissions professionals, guidance counselors, school administrators, financial aid advisors, and child development experts in their fields. Aristotle Circle's goal is to take the stress out of the process. www.aristotlecircle.com.

Contact: Renee Young at Renee Young PR, 914-523-5320, reneeiyoung@aol.com

SOURCE Aristotle Circle