Embrace the Third Dimension of College Applications


  High test scores and great grades can help your applications next season, but it’s not the whole picture. In order to be competitive for significant merit aid, it’s quality research, leadership and service experience that will set you apart. Here are a few crucial ways you can make sure your resume goes deep and not just long:


  1. RESEARCH IN YOUR FUTURE FIELD. If you know you want to go into a STEM field, getting hands-on experience researching or aiding researchers is important to your application. Ask your science teachers for recommendations, or go to local universities or organizations that can help put you in touch with researchers.


  1. JOB SHADOW PROFESSIONALS (more than just once). Do you want to be a physical therapist? Go check out a physical therapy clinic for a day (or month). Job shadowing more than one professional can give you a fuller picture of the field you’re considering going into, and can show colleges you’re dedicated to the future major (and that it excites you enough to keep going back for more).


  1. VOLUNTEER CONSISTENTLY Find a cause or organization that you care about (they’re definitely out there!) and start volunteering early. Starting your freshman year and becoming deeply involved in that organization can help you in more ways than just applications -- it can help you meet different members of your community, illustrate your dedication to a project, and help you learn and practice new skills.


  1. CREATE YOUR OWN PROJECT For years, Hughes Consulting has helped students create, plan and implement a larger leadership project that shows their dedication to their communities, peers and future fields of interest. Starting this project your sophomore or junior year can be a huge boon to your admissions prospects, and greatly increases your odds of receiving a merit scholarship. If your school year feels too packed, the summer can be the right time to dedicate real time and energy to your project and other pursuits.


  1. CONTACT HUGHES CONSULTING today and we’ll set you up with an advisor to help you through the entire process, and get you in touch with our project coordinator for specialized advice and organization.