Five mistakes to avoid on your college application

With college application deadlines looming, admissions officers offer their take on the most common mistakes students make.

3. Lapses on the online apps

Courtesy of Gary Cohen/Oberlin College/AP
The Oberlin College admissions staff discusses applications November 19 at the college in Oberlin, Ohio.

About 80 percent of college applications are done online now. The Common Application, accepted by about 400 colleges, also makes it easy to streamline the process.

But it’s a digital danger zone, too. Imagine being an admissions officer at Princeton and reading a passionate essay about how a student would be a perfect fit for ... Yale. Yes, in addition to spell-check horror stories, students still manage to send off applications with the wrong school’s name embedded in the text. Be sure to proofread. And proofread again.

Another common mistake with the Common Application: forgetting that some schools require supplemental essays. If you don’t submit a complete application, it won’t even get a reading.

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