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Applying For Overseas Colleges? 5 Common Mistakes Indian Students Need To Avoid

Mistakes To Avoid While Applying For Overseas Colleges: There are many academicians who have mentored students for their overseas college application journey for years and they point out common mistakes that they say are repeated by the candidates. Often, students and their families aren’t even aware of the slip-ups. However, these mistakes are expensive, sometimes even resulting in rejections. The good news is, with proper guidance and planning, the land mines can be side-stepped easily. Poshak Agarwal, Co-Founder, of Athena Education, has compiled a list of five common mistakes made by the candidates and how they can be avoided.Also Read – Viral Video: 3 Chennai College Boys Carry Sharp Weapons to Perform Stunt on Moving Train, Arrested | Watch

1. Not focusing on the fit

It’s great that your cousin went to Michigan. But, if you prefer intimate communities and a warmer climate, it might not be an ideal choice for you. Also Read – Viral Video: Fight Breaks Between 2 Bengaluru College Girls As They Hit & Slap Each Other | Watch

When choosing a college, look beyond the brand and the who-went-where factors. Find a school that seems to be the right fit for you. Weigh in estimated expenses, the curriculum you’re signing up for, the teaching methodology and rigor, the school’s focus areas and yes, even the weather! Also Read – UP School Shocker: Class 10 Student Shoots Teacher Three Times For Being Reprimanded

And if the college is the right fit for you, chances are you may be the right fit for them too.

2. Starting your application late

Last-minute test prep can be your go-to formula in school life, but you need to start your application process on time; actually, well ahead of time.

Do not fool yourself into thinking that you only have to apply by the 31st of December. In fact, many universities have early (Early Action/Early Decision) deadlines. Meeting them increases your acceptance probability.

So, create a detailed roadmap. Typically, budget at least 7-8 months to put everything together.

Incidentally, if we are talking about college application in the broader context of profile building etc., the process needs to start way before 11th-12th grade. With plummeting acceptance rates, you wanna start building your edge now.

3. Winging your essays

An Admissions Officer peruses countless essays a day. To stand out, your submission must be compelling, authentic, and creative and display a deep understanding of your chosen college(s).

Connecting with the college’s vibe is equally important when you’re writing supplementary essays — applying to Princeton, your essays must resonate with its commitment to “service”.

So whether starting with the personal statement for UCAS or getting the first draft right for common app,  put in the hard work and get sound guidance. Research, draft, redraft, get feedback and then repeat till satisfied.

4. Sending in a LOR a Litany of Praises

The best LORs contain anecdotes about meaningful interactions with your mentor. They are short and sweet. So, instead of asking a “reputed” teacher to compile a list of hollow compliments, find someone who’s taught you for a few years, has seen you grow, and would be happy to vouch for the same. Do send the recommender a list of achievements/incidents to help them draft a more insightful letter.

5. Not Utilizing the Activity List & Additional Information Sections Effectively

Think, assess, and sift when filling these sections. To craft an impactful activity list, choose your most significant accomplishments. Arrange activities in descending order of importance. Give precedence to those that are recent.

Please don’t use the 650 words for “Additional Information” to extend your activities list. Use this space only if you have information that cannot be fitted elsewhere in your application.

Applying to a college overseas can seem overwhelming. However, thorough research, strategic preparation and expert advice can help you avoid the common pitfalls.

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