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Are First Impressions Final?

Michael Fleischner

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Your college application, like the personal essay, is an integral part to your acceptance. Regardless of what is assumed, the “first impression, " holds much influence over the admissions staff. It is imperative that you use utmost caution and discrimination when you embark on this process.

The Admissions Staff will view your application as a guide of your commitment to your studies. A poorly written application will look careless and apathetic, an impression you want to avoid. Your application will work as proof of your ambition and desire.

First, you must prepare to fill out the paperwork. This means you will not be filling out your application until later. You should now focus on reading every page of this paperwork before you fill anything out. You will want to use your best writing and wording on your college application.

Many experts recommend that students create duplicate copies of the application and use those as primer forms. This gives you plenty of “practice space" so you can determine what is the most appropriate and important information for each section. You will have spare copies and if you make a mistake, you can simply note to use caution on the real application.

You should also consider the staff will not want to hear what you think they want to hear. They want to know about you and will glean much about your inner traits from your choice of statements. Discuss your personal accomplishments and interests with examples and not vague statements.

Avoid simplicity in your answers, if possible. You want to go to college and this is your greatest opportunity to prove it. What are your goals and how do they relate to you as an individual? If your potential facility requires a paragraph, or even your essay, in your handwriting, use your finest penmanship.

Many applicants are surprised to see that brief humor is perfectly acceptable on the application. So long as it's brief and appropriate, it gives the Admissions Staff a general idea of your personality.

Many high school students mistakenly believe that their senior year is a time to “thin out, " their coursework. It seems all necessary studies are completed and they can use this last year of high school as somewhat of a break. Do not believe this. Your senior year will be the primary year a college will examine. You could ease up on your studies in your Sophomore or Junior year and it would give a better impression. Your senior year will impress your college.

When you've went through a disposable version of your application, you are read to begin on the real thing. Make note of changes and avoid mistakes you may've made on the preparatory draft of your application. Be very careful when writing your personal essay as this will provide the faculty a great deal of information about you. Always check every document you write for errors and grammatical mistakes.

If you receive notification that your file is incomplete after you submit your application, notify your college counselor immediately. Get any issues such as this cleared up as far away from any deadline as possible.

During this time, you will also want to send thank you notes to any teachers who've given you letters of recommendation. If you receive an invitation to a college, always RSVP. Regardless of whether or not you can attend, this will show a potential academic facility that you are considerate of their time.

If you send out multiple applications, please respond to any acceptances from other facilities in writing. Please do so promptly after receiving a letter of acceptance.

Your college application will not be a quick or easy experience, but with careful planning and the right mentality, it doesn't have to be a struggle. You can complete your application with confidence and rest assured you have made the best impression possible.

Michael Fleischner is the Managing Director of and a top marketing expert with more than 12 years of professional experience. He has appeared on The TODAY Show, Bloomberg Radio, and other major media. For additional help with your college application essay or personal statement visit


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