You're embarking on a process that is—how shall we say it?—a tad overwhelming. There are a whole lot of pieces for you to conquer, and you might be receiving conflicting information on how best to complete your application. We here at Tufts Admissions want to make this process as easy as possible, so we've collected all of our application advice on this page.
First thing's first: we wrote some advice blogs. Sean offers 5 tips on essay writing. Abby gives you insight on how we read. And Rachel shares a few tips for college searching.
If you gravitate towards advice in the form of Buzzfeed articles and Quote of the Day anthologies, this is for you. We asked several admissions officers to give you their most condensed words of wisdom.
It's best to be intentional about when you're working on college applications...and when you're not! Don't let senior year pass you by while you're stressing about college. Yes, set aside time for your apps, but also set aside time to hang out with your friends, go out for a run, bake a new recipe, spend time with family, and enjoy the things that you love! Don't let college applications consume your life!
-Rachel Brown, Associate Director of Admissions
While most students spend quite some time on their Common App Essay, we urge you to not lose sight of the importance of the supplemental short answers (or essays?? Word choice help!) In fact, don’t leave those responses until the last minute because they carry a lot of weight in your application! Admission Counselors can see when you have dedicated a lot of your time to your supplement. It also helps us see what kind of community member you will be and just how excited you are about Tufts!
-Paz Pitarque, Assistant Director of Admissions
Put your best effort into your applications and know that when it comes time to hit “send,” you’ve taken control of everything you can. So, hit that button, breathe, and enjoy the rest of your senior year!
-Aaron Watts, Admissions Counselor
Make sure to take the time to truly look over your extracurricular and awards section to add in any additional details or activities that you have been involved with. Tufts and many other schools (not all, but many) will not evaluate your resume as a part of your application. Instead, we use the Common Application's extracurricular section to understand your activities and passions outside of traditional classroom settings.
-Gracie Marshall, Assistant Director of Admissions
Be you and trust the process! Please make sure you plan a little treat for yourself after you have submitted all of your application materials. You are doing a lot of work, so do a little something to reward all your efforts.
-Derrick McCarthy-Gunter, Associate Director of Admissions
Don’t let the college application process consume your life at the expense of your other responsibilities. When your schedule feels jam-packed, I encourage you to prioritize your academic success in your senior year courses – this will pay off most in the application process. Aim to break your applications into small, more manageable parts and set intermediate deadlines to keep you on track: finish Extracurricular Activities section by 11/30, complete “Why Tufts?” supplemental essay by 12/10, complete second supplemental essay by 12/20. Focusing on one component at a time will help the process feel less overwhelming.
-Sean Ashburn, Assistant Director of Admissions
Authenticity shines through more than most students could imagine. Don’t focus on being uber-unique or pulling out every favorite word from your prolific vocabulary. Don’t paint your life as the climax of an epic story. Just make sure you sound like yourself and speak to things that you care about.
-Alex Most, Assistant Director of Admissions
For students applying to the SMFA at Tufts, make sure you spend a couple minutes (or more...) thinking about the order of your portfolio. Is your strongest work first? Are you happy with the overall flow of the portfolio as you scroll through it?
-Thomas Radovich, Admissions Counselor, SMFA
We talk a lot about writing essays in your authentic voice, but what does that mean? How can you tell if you've been successful? My advice: Finish your essays a few days early (I say this as a renowned procrastinator, but this one really is worth it). That will give you time to print them out on actual paper. Then read them aloud. Do the words roll easily off your tongue? If you've attempted a joke in one of your essays, does it make your mom eavesdropping in the next room chuckle a little out loud? Do the sentences have some kind of rhythm? If so, you've written in your own voice and should feel confident hitting submit.