How to Avoid Common University Application Mistakes 

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Reading tips on how to avoid common university application mistakes before starting your process is such an intelligent decision! As a result, you won’t only stand out from other candidates but also face fewer delays and complications along the way. 

To ensure a more organized and smooth journey, check out the common college application errors and ways to avoid them below! 

#1 Missing Documents/Information

When you start applying to universities abroad, you may get overwhelmed by all the requirements. However, it is essential to have things under control and make sure that everything is organized.

For instance, you can create a list of all the institutions you are applying to and write the required documents for each university. Then, whenever you have a document ready, mark it as done and move to the next one. 
This way, you will save all the information in one place. The required documents to apply to universities abroad usually include:

  • School transcripts/academic records
  • Passport and copy of your IDs 
  • Personal statement
  • English proficiency test results
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Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months when you apply; otherwise, your application might be delayed or rejected.  

Other than missing a document, many students send the application to the wrong place, which could also delay the process. 

So, carefully review the submission instructions to ensure you’re sending it to the right place. Also, keep an eye out for a confirmation email or a message from the university confirming that they have received it.

#2 Missing Deadlines

Leaving the application to the last minute might affect its quality. You want to go above and beyond what they’re asking for and try to provide relevant material that you know might benefit you. 

For instance, if you have a certificate related to the field you are applying for, provide a copy of it and talk about it in your personal statement.

But, if you are applying late, you won’t have much time to add extra things. So this procrastination will not only be reflected in your application but also is a risk because you might miss the deadline altogether. 

Many universities monitor when students send in their applications, which plays a role in decision-making. This can indicate that the university is the last-minute choice for you. 

A lot of universities require students to answer some essay questions when submitting  their applications. Make sure you give yourself enough time to write and edit and revise your work! 

These issues can all be avoided if you start the process in advance; usually, 3 months would be ideal. 
But, if you have faced unexpected circumstances that led you to be late, then don’t worry! Some universities accept late applications from international students. Here are some examples:

  • Umea University in Sweden
  • McGill University in Canada
  • The University of Auckland in New Zealand
  • The University of Aberdeen in the UK
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#3 Not Proofreading Your Personal Statement

One of the significant and common university application mistakes includes not proofreading your personal statement. This letter allows you to prove that you deserve a place at the institution and for you to express how much you want to study there. 

Spend as much time as you can trying to perfect it! 

Once you have it ready, get someone else to read it because it can be hard to spot mistakes. You need a new perspective and someone that can point out if you have kept out any accomplishments.

Or, on the contrary, you might have mentioned way too many things that the tone started to get a bit overconfident.

While universities care so much about your grades, your personality is just as important! They are looking to admit students with strong characters and are team players. 
Always mention people who have supported you, including teachers, managers, friends, etc. Check out other tips on how to write a personal statement here.

#4 Not Submitting the Optional Essay

Sometimes, university applications will include an optional essay. Unfortunately, this often means that it’s not really optional. 

Just like how when you apply for a job, they might say that a cover letter is optional, but realistically, it’s a trick to see which candidate will be making an effort to write one!

To make your university application stand out, keep in mind that writing the optional essay will indicate that you are interested in the university and will make an effort now and when enrolled. 

It shows that you are a hard worker and willing to do more than what the requirements ask for.

#5 Applying to Top-ranked Universities Only

When researching universities abroad, you often come across more prominent names that are top-ranked globally. However, these usually have a more competitive admission process. 

To ensure that you get accepted into a school abroad, make sure that you have a balance between the top-ranked schools and other universities that might be less known. 

Otherwise, you might not be accepted and miss the deadlines for other universities. 

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Harvard University, for example, only accepted 4.5% of the 43,330 applicants that applied for the year 2023. 

This is not a high percentage, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply. It just means that you should apply to others as well to be guaranteed to be accepted by at least one of them.

#6 Procrastinating Your Visa Application

Getting an acceptance letter from a university abroad will probably feel like a dream! However, you have to remember that the process does not end there. 

After getting accepted, you should start applying for your visa and constantly contact the Embassy of the country you applied to.

You will need to gather your documents and apply as soon as possible to avoid missing any classes at the beginning of the semester.

Do you feel confident enough to start your university application process? If yes, then that’s Awesome! 
Time to share this information with your friends so they can avoid making these common university application mistakes. 😉


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