Your university application is one of the most important steps towards making your dream of studying abroad a reality. Any mistakes could mean missing out on the perfect program at the university you’ve set your sights on.
There are plenty of ways to make your application stand out, but here are some of the most common application mistakes you need to avoid:
1. Submitting an application with documents missing
More than 70% of application rejections are down to students failing to send all the necessary documents to the university.
Before you send your application off, carefully check you’ve included everything the university needs. Documents you’ll usually need to provide include:
- Copy of your passport
- School qualifications and transcripts
- Personal statement
- IELTS, TOEFL or other English proficiency test results
2. Forgetting to pay your application fee
Many students might not realize that universities often ask you to pay a fee when you submit your application. These are separate to your tuition fees, and need to be paid as part of the application process.
The fee can be as high as $85, but the exact cost will depend on where you’re applying to. Make sure you check if the university charges a fee, and you pay it when you submit your application if they do.
Most application fees are non-refundable, so you won’t get your money back if you are unsuccessful. However, if you don’t pay it in the first place, your application will almost certainly be rejected.
3. Not having a valid passport
Your application could be rejected or delayed if your passport is invalid. Most universities ask that your passport must be valid for at least six months at all times, or that it is valid for at least six months at the end of your program.
This is also often a requirement of your visa application, so it’s well worth getting your passport renewed if it’s due to expire soon. Check the passport information on your application checklist to see what you need to do.
4. Personal statement errors
Your personal statement is your opportunity to sell yourself and express how much you want to study at the university. An uninspiring or inaccurate personal statement can really damage your application, so make sure you:
- Explain why you want to study at the university above others
- Show your interest and passion for the subject you want to study
- Talk about your extracurricular activities
- Proofread your statement to remove any spelling or grammatical errors
Once you’ve written your statement, get someone else to give it a read. It can be hard to sell yourself, so a friend or family member could spot things you’ve been too modest to mention.
5. Applying too late
Not only can it mean missing the deadline all together, but leaving it to the last minute to submit your application can reflect poorly on you as a candidate.
Many universities and colleges monitor when students send in their applications, and it can factor into the decision making process if your application comes in on the deadline. It can indicate that the university is a last minute choice, or worse, that you’re a lazy student.
Applying as early as possible also means you’ll have time to fix any potential issues, like missing paperwork.
6. Sending your application to the wrong place or person
Each year hundreds of study abroad applicants miss out because they either email their application to the wrong address or don’t put the correct postage on their application.
Read the submission instructions carefully to make sure you’re sending your application to the right place, and always double check with the university to make sure they’ve received it.