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 things first: we wrote some advice blogs. Sean offers five tips on essay writing. Sayaka shares tips for self-care in a virtual college search. Aidan defines ten popular admissions terms. 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 '18, Assistant Director of Admissions
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 '15, Associate Director of Admissions
Be yourself and trust the process! You've put so much effort into crafting your application so remember to take a deep breath after you hit the submit button and treat yourself for all the hard work you've done.
-Evelyn Ocampo '17, Assistant 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, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions
Be yourself. When writing your essays, you don’t have to sound like you already have your PhD (spoiler: we know you don't—you’re applying for an undergraduate program). Instead, employ a voice in your writing that feels authentically you, exploring the topics you actually care about. That’s the voice that will help you stand out in our process.
-Jason Rathman '17, 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, Assistant Director of Admissions, SMFA at Tufts
Use your applications to share your story, your accomplishments, and your aspirations with us. Once you hit submit on your applications, congratulate yourself on completing an important step in the process. And then turn your full focus back to the fun of being a high school senior. Spend time with friends and family, contribute to your community, immerse yourself in your academic interests, and enjoy your last few months of high school.