Are You Using All the Tools in Your Arsenal?


set of tools

Students have many tools in their arsenal to show they will be successful in college and that a school is a good fit for them. The most important tool is the completion of a rigorous high school curriculum. However, students often bypass other opportunities on the common application to create the best impression; locating these opportunities is difficult. Here are a few:


  • Resume Upload - The common application offers students space to complete an activities list. However, that space is limited by the number of activities and characters in the description. About 35% of the schools on our student lists also allow students to upload a resume. Look at the activities section of each college separately. Examples of schools that allow for resume uploads:

  • State Schools - University of Maryland - College Park, Clemson, Miami University, University of Delaware

  • Highly Selective Schools - Claremont McKenna; Northeastern, Northwestern, Brown, Boston College

  • Moderately Sized and Traditional Private Schools - Elon, Texas Christian, Duquesne, Rhodes


  • Activities Interest - Show schools that you will be an active participant on campus. Some but not all schools ask what activities within their school you will consider? Don't pass up the chance to show your engagement on campus. If a school asks this question, it is also found in the activities section of each college separately. Examples of some schools that want to know more about your interests:

  • State Schools - Purdue, University of Connecticut, University of Maryland Baltimore County

  • Highly Selective Schools - Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins, Occidental

  • Moderately Sized and Traditional Private Schools - Bucknell, Southern Methodist, Furman


  • Contact Points - Show you are interested in the school! If schools are going to offer you a seat at their table, let them know you might show up. Schools offer up to 10 contact points to show how you have connected and researched their school websites, virtual events, in-person events, alumni contacts to name a few. Fill out as many options that apply. You can find this option in the contacts section of each school. Here are some schools that want to know how you have connected with them.

  • State Schools - University of Tennessee, University of Maine, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

  • Highly Selective Schools - Vassar, Scripps, Rice, University of Pennsylvania, University of Notre Dame

  • Moderately Sized and Traditional Private Schools - Sewanee, Loyola Marymount, Juniata


  • Online Presence - Some students have an online presence to share, including talents in the visual and performing arts, even if their program of study is not in the Fine Arts. We have also had students showcase complicated research projects with a URL. Here are some schools that offer the opportunity to share an online presence. Another possibility is to include that online presence in the additional information section.

  • State Schools - University of Georgia, Florida Institute of Technology, University of Maine

  • Highly Selective Schools - Bowdoin, Colgate, Brown, Washington and Lee

  • Moderately Sized and Traditional Private Schools - University of Tampa, University of Mary Washington, Wofford


The college application is real estate. Students should use every piece of real estate offered on the application to show they have the skills to be successful in college; and also who they are, what they love, and what people will find compelling about them.

74 views0 comments
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest