The words students use on college essays, short answer questions and quick single word answers within the college application are extremely revealing. Which, of course, is why they were asked in the first place.
Students (and homeschool parents serving as counselors) can unwittingly drive a nail in the coffin of a college application by the words they choose. Without knowing it, they can:
- drive a negative stereotype
- show they are inflexible and cause a school to worry that this student might not be the best roommate
- write about their angst and raise eyebrows that the kid might be a mental health risk
- whine about their circumstances and show they didn’t have the wherewithal to rise above a tough life
- rave about their travels and show they don’t have a clue about how the rest of the world lives
- reveal an attitude and convince admissions they would be a bore on campus
College admissions officers aren’t out to trap you. They just want to know who students are and admissions offices are pretty good at reading between the lines and picking up on subtle clues. So, put your best foot forward. Think carefully about the things you say and what those things say about you.
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