Although you may think that your grades, test scores, resume and application essay carry the most weight, the actual application form is important too. The boxes should contain valuable information that helps convince the admissions readers you will thrive at their school and add to their community. If you fill in the boxes at the last minute in a sloppy, hasty manner, you may be blowing your chance of acceptance, especially if your stats are borderline.
Make sure that you complete those boxes so that they do their job and carry weight in the evaluation process.
Creating a “Heavyweight” Application
While reading the boxes on your application, the reader forms an impression of you and your worthiness as a potential member of their next grad school class. This is your chance to make the best impression possible on the reader. Since you don’t want to end up with a lightweight application, you’ll want to follow these tips for successfully creating a “heavyweight” application:
1. Provide as much information as possible when filling out your boxes.
For example, when preparing a response about your involvement in clubs or organization, either undergraduate or after college, fill the box with a lot of information – giving it weight. Focus on results when possible. Listing your position as President and moving on to the next box is a lightweight answer that won’t leave the reader wanting to learn more about you.
2. Emphasize your achievements and accomplishments.
Show the reader that you are a person of achievement, accomplishment, and contribution. Use numbers and statistics to show that your leadership contributed in a meaningful way and changed the organization. People who change, contribute, and lead are exactly what schools want to see.
3. Create a holistic, complementary application.
Essays and transcripts should build on and complement what you have already stated in your application.
4. Use details.
Heavyweight boxes should include the details that help distinguish you from all of the other organization presidents that are submitting applications to the same graduate and business schools as you. Use this as your opportunity to stand out.
5. Whet their appetite for what’s to come.
Using your boxes to demonstrate a record of leadership, impact, and contribution will put you ahead of the game when the reader gets to your essay or transcript (or whatever it is that they’ll be reading next).
Filling your boxes with substantial information will turn your application from ordinary to extraordinary. You’ll make the adcom reader want to learn more about you, putting your application on the top of the pile, while the lightweight apps just float away….