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Common App Problems: Golden Opportunity?

The Pay “Wholesale” for College Success Bulletin

For class of 2014 students, the newly revamped Common Application has been a train wreck.

Essays don’t format correctly, teacher recommendations aren’t getting entered properly, and more.  (Here’s a recent NY Times article describing applicants’  – and admissions officers’ – problems.)

Permit me to share s an unconventional tip:  Why not send a hard copy (via “snail mail”) of the application and essay. And resume, while you’re at it.


Here are five reasons why you should consider doing this:

1.  No-one else is. To succeed in the college application process, you have to “show up different.”  The opposite is doing the same thing everyone else is – that’s the surefire ticket to getting average results.
2.  It’s considerate of the admissions officers – you’re making their lives easier by sending them an easy-to-read, formatted essay (instead of a mega-monster, long paragraph).
3.  It’s yet another example of demonstrating interest – you’re going the extra mile, which tells the admissions committee that you’re more than a casual applicant.
4.  It shows that you’re a hustler.  Not in the Fast Eddie sense, but in the way that shows that you are willing to go above and beyond the average kid to impress the admissions committee.

One of the first, best stories that Pearl (my “better half”) told me when we were dating was that she put on a business suit and hand-delivered her law school application to the dean.  His secretary told Pearl that she would put the application on the top of the pile.

The next day, the dean called Pearl and told her that he was impressed with her effort – and was admitting her.

The day after, I proposed.  (Not really, but it would make a good story, right?)

5.  It’s good practice for later in life.  Any time you want something badly, you should think about how you can distinguish yourself from your competitors.

If you have a Junior or Sophomore (class of 2015 or 2016) and you’re wondering how he or she can “show up different,” this is the time to get serious.  This is a good resource.

Your Correspondent,

– Andy Lockwood

P.S.  Tons of college planning “secrets” workshops coming up through December, check out the schedule here.

P.P.S.  FYI, I try to “show up different” by sending these tips, posting hundreds of articles on my website, doing videos, live lectures, etc.  My entire point is the answer the question, “Why should I consider you, versus all of my other choices?”   I look at what I’m doing as educating my audience about why I’m different. So when I advise Juniors and Sophomores about the things they need to do to answer the same question, realize that I follow my own advice.

Andrew Lockwood, J.D.
Lockwood College Consulting
497 South Oyster Bay Road
Plainview, New York 11803