First things first! Application season is right around the corner. Junior year is the time to get ready because the sooner you apply, the sooner you’ll hear from us! Here’s the most important stuff you need to know.
How to be a more competitive applicant
Want to stand out when you apply to college? Well, you're in luck, because the Office of Admissions is here to share some tips on how to be the most competitive applicant possible.
Description of the following video:
[ video description: The IU logo appears on the middle of the screen. ]
[ video: “Application Tips” ]
[ video: Young man sits facing camera in computer lounge. ]
Jeric: Hey, everyone! My name is Jeric, and I’m a senior here at Indiana University. I remember just a few short years ago when I was in your shoes—approaching my senior year of high school and preparing to start on this next adventure in life, otherwise known as college.
I remember exactly how daunting this application process can be, so I’m here to give you a few tips on how to submit your application with confidence.
[ video: “Let’s get started.” ]
Jeric: Freshman applicants applying for the fall semester can apply using one of three different applications: the Indiana University eApplication, the Common Application, or the Coalition Application. The materials required for each application are the same. We do not prefer one application over another; however, it’s really important that you only complete one. If you complete more than one application, that may delay your decision.
[ video: “Application Tip #1: Choose your application.” ]
Jeric: IU strongly encourages students to apply as early as possible in the fall of their senior year. And remember, November first is our early action and scholarship deadline. That means in order to be considered for IU’s Academic Scholarships, you must submit a complete application for admission—including official transcript, test scores, and essay—by November first. We also have a regular decision deadline of February first.
[ video: “Application Tip #2: Submit your complete application as soon as possible.” ]
Jeric: The next thing you need to know is what to send in to complete your application. You need to submit an application, which includes a non-refundable $60 fee, the IU-required essay, and your official high school transcript and test scores.
[ video: “Application Tip #3: Make sure you know what to send.” ]
Jeric: As I just mentioned, regardless of the application platform you choose, you’ll need to submit the IU-specific essay. That means you’ll need to upload and submit the essay when you submit the application.
[ video: “Application Tip #4: Make sure you know how to submit your essay.” ]
Jeric: The next tip is about the application essay. Your essay should be between 200 and 400 words. You’ll be asked to describe your academic and career plans and any special interests—such as undergraduate research, academic interests, or leadership opportunities you’re eager to pursue as an undergraduate at Indiana University. You’ll also have the opportunity to address any unusual circumstances, challenges, or obstacles you may have faced in pursuit of your education and how you were able to overcome them.
It’s important to put your best self forward with your essay. Think it through, brainstorm with family and friends, and talk to a college counselor. Write about your passions and open up about yourself. This essay should be uniquely you. And don’t forget, have someone proofread your essay to make sure there are no misspellings or typos. Also remember that your essay may be used for scholarship consideration.
[ video: “Application Tip #5: Write a strong essay using your own voice.” ]
Jeric: You’ll soon come to the question about what major interests you. If you are undecided about a specific major, mark exploratory. If you know what you want to major in, mark the major in the school or college in which that major is located. And remember, you will always have the opportunity to add additional majors or minors.
[ video: “Application Tip #6: If you’re undecided, mark “exploratory.’” ]
Jeric: Once you think you’re done filling out the application, review it again and again! Go back and check numbers in fields like your address, phone number, and date of birth. Thoroughly review these to make sure you didn’t put any numbers in the wrong order.
[ video: “Application Tip #7: Review your application details.” ]
Jeric: Now that you’ve submitted your online application, it’s time to complete your application process. To do this, you need to have your official high school transcript sent to IU, as well as your SAT and/or ACT scores. It’s important to remember, we’ll only consider official test scores sent directly from the testing agency.
[ video: “Application Tip #8: Send us your transcript and official test scores.” ]
Jeric: As you’re applying to IU, follow these simple application tips and you will be submitting the most competitive application possible. And if you ever have any questions, the IU Office of Admissions is here to help. I hope to see you all on campus soon and, as always, it’s a great day to be a Hoosier.
[ video: The IU logo appears with “admissions.indiana.edu” beneath it. ]
Top seven tips for juniors
- Make a list of your “must haves” for a college—think major, size, etc. Then, use websites like Cappex to find schools that have what you want.
- Develop your short list. Visit college websites, collect materials at college fairs, and check out social media.
- Join the mailing list for any school that interests you. It’s a great way to keep up with deadlines and campus news.
- Take a virtual tour. Visit any time you want—day or night.
- Schedule your visit. There is no substitute for the real thing, so make the most of it.
- Take the SAT and/or ACT. Most schools superscore, so send all your scores to the colleges that interest you.
- Know the cost. Start researching costs and learn how to apply for financial aid (the FAFSA is available October 1 of your senior year).
Top six things to do when visiting a college campus
- Take a formal tour. They are usually led by a student and you'll see the most important parts of campus.
- Stop by the admissions office if you have more questions. The IU Office of Admissions offers appointments with admissions counselors who love giving important information to students.
- Attend an academic information session if available. You'll gain insight into career possibilities and classes you might take as a college student.
- Check out a residence hall. It will be your new home and the place you’ll meet your first college friends.
- Eat a meal on campus. Make sure there’s a variety of food that you like to eat and that it tastes good!
- Talk to current students. There’s no better way to find out if you belong on campus than by asking real students about their experiences.