One of the biggest questions I get from parents is, what should my teen have on their college application to help them stand out from the thousands of other applicants? What are the “magic” words or activities that will increase their chances of getting accepted? 

Unfortunately, no magic word or particular activity will have the admissions person say, “Yes, this is the one we have been looking for to come to our school!” It will vary by college, and it can vary from year to year, depending on the school’s focus. If you try to guess, most likely, you won’t get it right.

Applying to college can feel like we’re trying to hit the center of a moving target. But, there are some ways your teen can stand out in the process.

Think quality, not quantity, when it comes to extracurricular activities.

Don’t try to load your kid into many different activities where they only spend a little time. Most schools like to see a student who sticks with something and takes a leadership role. 

Identify the career they want and the major they need.

Schools will look at your teen more favorably if they’re confident about their career choice. Ideally, the application should mention their interest in a particular school because they offer a major in the specific career they’re passionate about.

Help your teen determine who they are as an individual.

What makes them light up? What unique strengths do they have, and how do they apply them? Have your teen talk to teachers, coaches, neighbors and ask about what unique qualities they see in them.

After I help teens figure out what makes them unique and the path they want to take, we then focus on sharing this information with prospective schools. That is why I have partnered with spikeview. It’s like a LinkedIn for teens to highlight their passions, skills, and achievements. The best part is that students can share their spikeview profile in their college application.

Have your high schooler start standing out from the crowd by creating a profile on spikeview. And if you’d like more help guiding your teen through the college application process, schedule a complimentary strategy session with me.

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