There's little you probably haven't already heard from counselors, books, online sources about the college application process. But here are some that are worth mentioning to your kids, from Unigo's panel of experts.
According to them, some of the less obvious mistakes include:
-- discrepancies between any self-reported grades, scores and those of official reports
-- writing samples that are so polished and perfect, with not-so-hot scores and grades in English
-- disciplinary problems included in the high school transcript but not explained elsewhere
-- a version of a lawyer's excessive/impossible billable hours: extracurricular activities that, when added up, would leave no time for homework, classes or sleep. The example given was a student who claims to do crew 20 hours a week and jazz band 20 hours a week
Nearly all the experts interviewed emphasized the need to proofread, though one said she'd heard that some admissions people like to see a typo or two -- it indicates the kid did the application by himself without adult supervision.
Now that sounds like a comment that should be ignored. Mistakes are not the way to demonstrate authenticity, that quality so sought by colleges.
I also blog on college issues at nj.com, Parental Guidance.