Application Advice: You Heard It Here!

Susan Hartley Brisson

New England saw the first major snow of the season this week, and that means that the holiday season is in the offing (cue the drifting snowflakes and the aroma of cinnamon-infused baking). For high school seniors, this also means that the thick of college application season is upon us! Some of you may have already submitted Early Decision or Early Action applications; others may be gearing up to press SUBMIT on regular decision apps. At Olin, we have a single application deadline of January 2, 2020, and while we’ve had a few early birds, the bulk of our applications will arrive in the coming weeks. While you are putting the finishing touches on your Olin supplements (essay questions), I’d like to share some advice for your application (as offered by your friends in the Olin College Office of Admission & Financial Aid):

  • I always tell students to be themselves when writing their essay. Don’t write an essay that they think I want to read because we’re an engineering school.
  • In the activities section, think about everything you do outside of school and include whichever ones involve a time commitment or are meaningful to you, whether or not you think they are formal “activities." While this can include traditional extracurricular clubs and sports, it might also include personal hobbies that you engage in outside of any formal group, paid work, family responsibilities, religious involvement, and other commitments. Also, define any acronyms that you use and provide a short description for activities (don’t assume that we know what it stands for and what it means!).
  • Don’t wait until the last minute!!!
  • We only know what you tell us! If you have additional information or circumstances that you feel are important, use the “Additional Information” section of the application to share it.
  • Write thank you notes to your recommenders and anyone else who has supported you through the college application process. See Tori’s blog for more thoughts about recommendation letters.
  • Proofread everything. Have someone else you trust proofread too.

As the next few weeks unfold and you complete (and submit!) your college applications, I hope you’ll reach out to us if you have any questions about your application to Olin. Our admission staff is ready and eager to help you! 

Posted in: Susan, All Admission Staff Blogs