Applications continue to flood into top US colleges despite the economic slowdown. With admissions as competitive as ever, the Wall Street Journal talks to six people who know—college freshmen—and asks for their advice:
- Don't let naysayers deter you from your dream school: "It pays off to keep on going for it even if you're told you can't do it," says a Stanford product design major.
- Spellcheck, spellcheck, spellcheck: proofread every section of the application, preferably using a hard copy.
- Take the road less traveled and avoid clichés (like that one): Tap into what makes you unique and consult how-to books for sample essays.
- Apply to dream schools, safety schools, and those in between, making sure "that all the schools you apply to, you're pretty sure you'd be willing to go there," a University of Michigan student says.
- Get started right now: Visit campuses and don't put off beginning the application process.
- Be realistic: Touring too many campuses results in unnecessary confusion. Tap the Internet to find the best school for you.