top of page

Here are five ways to show the love in your college applications.

Be vulnerable

Professor Brené Brown tells us that being vulnerable is an important part of opening our hearts to love, and of opening our minds to learning. Colleges want to know that you are willing to shed your fears and try new challenges. Of course, you may not always succeed, but you can’t learn anything without trying.

Write about your experiences with challenges in your life. Maybe you tried out for a team or took a difficult class. It doesn’t matter if you made the team or aced the class; it’s your reaction to the challenge and what you learned from it that’s most important.

Admissions readers know that you will face challenges in college, and they want to see that you’re ready for them. Just like you take a risk for love when you nervously ask someone special to the prom, be willing to take a chance to learn.

Be spirited

It’s important to show your sweetheart that you care by sending a valentine, and it’s also important to show your school that you care. When you wholeheartedly participate in school activities, you are showing that your education matters to you, so write about your involvement with your school in your application.

Pour your heart out about how you love many aspects of your school. Colleges want to know that you might someday feel the same way about them, so be spirited and show your love.

Notice the little things

People are happy when their sweetheart notices new clothes, a new hairdo, or the color of their eyes. Likewise, colleges appreciate when you notice all they have to offer. Pay attention to details of the colleges you are applying to, and write about what specifically attracts you to them.

Research a school’s programs, classes, faculty, housing, career advising, and extracurricular organizations; then, include some of these details in your admissions essays to show you’ve done your homework. If you show the love this way, colleges will be more likely to admit you.

Be thoughtful

Our loved ones appreciate thoughtful gestures, like holding a door or clearing dishes after a meal. These gestures show you care about others, and you should be thoughtful about your college applications, too.

Be organized. Don’t have words and ideas all over the place in your college essays. Have a thesis statement, discussion, and an ending. Your readers will appreciate that you thought about them and made it easy to understand you.

Be neat, and double-check your entire application. Just like dressing well for that special person shows that you have positive feelings for them, submitting a carefully reviewed, mistake-free essay shows colleges you care.

Spread the love

It’s best not to get your heart set on just one college. Even if you do everything in your power, there is no guarantee you’ll end up being admitted to your dream school. As Motown legend Smokey Robinson reminds us in his classic song, when looking for love, “you better shop around.”

There are more than 2,000 colleges and universities in the United States. Research online and, if possible, visit colleges. You should apply to some colleges that you think are a good fit, some that are very likely to admit you, and a few that may be out of your league. After all, you can dream!

In February, the month in which we celebrate love, find some colleges to love. And if you spread your love to a range of colleges, even if you’re not admitted to some, your heart won’t be broken.

Barbara Connolly, JD,

bottom of page