Tips for Standing out on Your College Application

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Samir Badawy

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08 May, 2023

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5 mins read

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Tips and Advice

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Before applying to your university of choice, you must consider some things that can help improve your college application. Many of the things that can help strengthen your college application are done while you’re still a student before choosing your college major or enrolling in your higher education institution of choice. Below are all the tips for standing out on your college application and things to avoid.

Standing Out Based on Personal Experiences and Achievements

While still a student looking for your next higher education program, you should consider boosting your personal experiences and achievements; this will help you stand out. Here are some ways to stand out from the crowd based on achievements and experiences.

Standing Out Through Academic Achievements

Academic achievements are one of the first things most higher education institutions look for when applying, so always ensure that you are doing your very best academically while also looking for the required grades to qualify for your program or major of choice. Make sure to get the required scores needed as part of your institution’s college requirements.

Standing Out Through Extracurricular Activities 

Extracurricular activities add to your personal experience and can include joining clubs or student activities. These extracurricular activities will add problem-solving, teamwork, and leadership skills. Additionally, these extracurricular activities will add knowledge that is beneficial not just to your college application but also to your personal development. These extracurricular activities can also unlock new passions and potentials as well as provide an outlook on your future career path. 

College Application


We cannot mention extracurricular activities without mentioning the awards that commemorate these achievements. Awards will most definitely help you stand out from the crowd. These awards are usually given out for extracurricular activities such as sports, student clubs, arts, hobbies, learning a new language, or even learning a new skill.


Volunteering is also a great way to show colleges what you stand for and can be great for yourself and your college application. Many colleges hold community service in very high regard. Volunteering is selfless and helps uplift those in need; it is one of the things that you can do with no expected return and gives an insight into your personality.

Having the Right Documentation

It is highly essential that you have the proper documentation as part of the institution’s entry requirements before writing your college application to qualify or even stand out from other applicants. These include the following:

Keeping Your Records Accurate 

It is essential that you have updated documents, such as your academic records, to make sure that you can apply with your most updated records. Many institutions require that you provide them with an up-to-date transcript before applying. It would be best if you also had accurate awards and certificates that detail the date and what you accomplished for the award.

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Getting a Good Amount of Recommendation Letters

Recommendation letters are important and are usually required as part of the entry requirements. These letters are obtained through teachers that have known you throughout the years and can describe your achievements and character, as well as how much you have developed throughout the years. This can provide a good insight into your personality and how you are as a student.

Getting the Right Test

Many institutions have standardized tests as part of their entry requirements, so you must get the required test to qualify for their program. Taking extra tests can boost your skills and be considered an achievement even if not required by the institution. You must, however, remember first to get the basic requirements when taking the admission test.

Standing Out with Your Writing

Once you have all of your necessary paperwork and have met the requirements, then comes the fun part, which is actually writing your college application essay. Good writing can make all the difference when submitting your college application essay. Listed below are all the ways you can stand out with your writing.

Tell Them Your Story

Telling your own story is an art in itself and can make a great first impression on those receiving your application. When telling your story, describe yourself, what you stand for, your accomplishments, and why they should consider you as an applicant. 

Don’t forget to also mention why you have decided to pursue this field of study and what your future plans and career goals are. Also, mention why you have decided to apply for this particular institution and what opportunities and benefits you’ll get upon being accepted.

College Application

Be Catchy But Not Overly Confident

When writing your college application essay, it is okay to use some wit and humour when appropriate. There are various other ways to write quality content, such as writing a good introduction which will grab the reader’s attention, having a balance between recounting who you are with presenting your achievements, and adding visual elements like in stories when necessary.

At the same time, you can also discuss lessons you have learned, not just the wins or achievements. Most importantly, you should include everything you want the reader to know and be as authentic and true to yourself as much as possible.

Do Your Research

It is essential when highlighting why you have chosen the institution and field of study to show that you have done your research. In order to stand out from the crowd, make sure to read about the institution, its history, its majors, and your selected study program and add this to your reasons why you chose this institution and field of study.

Reading deeper about the subject is beneficial not just for your college application essay but also for your own personal knowledge. One of the essential readings you can do is read about the career outcomes from the field of study you choose, which can also be used to strengthen your point on why you chose this study.

Other Writing Tips

When writing your college application essay, make sure you read it out loud to yourself to see how it sounds. You can also have a checklist of everything you wish to include in your college application essay to ensure you have included all the necessary information.

It would be best if you also started writing your essay early to be able to give yourself time to think of new ideas and develop multiple drafts. Writing your college application the earliest possible will provide you with more time to revise as well as give you more time to get feedback from other people. 

Sticking to the recommended word count and ensuring you end your essay with a captivating conclusion is also important. You can always add examples to support statements about yourself. Remember to be concise by not mentioning past points and achievements repeatedly, and do not use cliche elements or over-exaggerate your achievements. 

At Casita, we highly recommend you follow through with the mentioned tips for the best outcomes regarding your college application. We also encourage you to achieve your best during your studies and enrol in various activities that boost your application and help you stand out from other applicants.

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1. What are some of the best extracurricular activities for college applications?

Some of the best extracurricular activities include volunteering, internships, pre-college programs, Model United Nations, courses and certificates, part-time jobs, arts and hobbies, and sports.

2. What is the most significant factor in a college application?

The most significant factor in your college application is your academic achievements and anything else that is part of the entry requirements.

3. What are some of the best college application tips?

The main things are sticking to the deadlines, sticking to the requirements, and strengthening your essay with experiences, awards, and academic achievements. It is also essential to write a catchy essay describing you as a person, showing your understanding of the study that you’re about to conduct while also supplying proof of how you are as a student through recommendation letters.


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