Of the top mistakes most often made on college applications, many can be attributed to not following instructions or working too quickly. The college application will be filled with important paperwork, so it is vital to take time and plan ahead. Setting aside time to focus on each document can help eliminate errors such as misspellings and will allow each form to be checked for completion, ensuring that it is signed and dated properly.
No one wants to be under pressure to complete such an important document at the last minute. Look at college and scholarship application deadlines and then figure out the amount of time it will take to complete the application. Schedule your work on it and if mailing an application, be sure to allow time for it to arrive before the deadline.
Take time to carefully consider people who will serve as your references. The people you choose should be able to accurately paint a picture of your talents and abilities. Essays also require planning and time; don't forget to find a trusted person to help proofread your writing.
Time, however, cannot overcome misinformation. Be truthful about your activities and the extent of your involvement. Personal activities, such as "shopping" and "hanging out with friends" don't belong on applications.
Make a professional impression. Consider setting up a separate e-mail account for your college and scholarship applications and related communication. Choose an address that is professional and avoid using nicknames or slang terms. Remember, just as you're looking for the right fit in a college, schools are looking for students who will represent them well.
Source: ACT's News You Can Use