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Five ways to ace college applications

Expert tips on surviving the college application process (without doing all the work yourself!).

By Brad Munson

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Admissions office

The keys to a killer application

Completing college applications isn’t the most fun your teen will have during the admissions process, but it’s vitally important. Amid all the research, campus visits, and test prep, filling out applications may seem like nothing more than pushing paperwork. In fact, it’s one of the most important (and essential) challenges for your child — a stumble here can end a college career before it begins. As Katherine Cohen, the author of Rock Hard Apps, says, “Straight A’s and perfect SAT scores aren’t enough to get accepted into the most competitive colleges anymore. The application has to convince the admissions officer that a student’s not only smart, but special. The application is your proxy, your spokesperson, your ambassador, either your best friend or your worst enemy, depending on how well you treat it.”

The good news? It is possible for your child to submit a winning application — and you don’t have to stress about it. Here are a few ways to make the journey easier:

Brad Munson is a freelancer writer, father, and sex educator based in Pasadena, Calif.

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

10/28/2011:
"i think its so wrong that the people that looks at your application and decides wether or not you get accepted into the college of your choice just because they want someone thats over the top/an einstein and thats truly unfair "
10/3/2011:
"I love school "
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