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Common Application: Dos And Don'ts Of The 'Additional Information' Section

    First Posted: 12/13/11 07:57 PM ET   Updated: 12/13/11 08:08 PM ET

Most of the college application process is pretty cut and dry. Mom’s name? Easy. Date of SAT scores? Simple. Any additional information you’d like to add? Um, what? For many high school seniors, this can be the trickiest part of the application process. If you do fill it out, will your college even look at it? Will they be annoyed? How much can you fill out? If you don’t fill it out, will you look uncreative and lazy? What if your first choice college doesn’t have an additional information section on its application? Can you still send something? Breathe easy, seniors. Her Campus is here to help you figure out what to attach (and what not to attach) to that confusing little section.

DON’T Send Additional Information Just Because There’s A Section to Do So:

If you don’t have something you really feel your college should see, don’t just send anything. “Colleges don’t want to feel like you’re wasting their time and just including additional information for the sake of including additional information,” says Karen Siegel, a college counselor in South Florida. “It’s like when you’re assigned a four page paper and wind up writing six just because you want to impress the teacher. Ask yourself, ‘What does this add to my application that isn’t somewhere in there already?’ If you can’t come up with an answer immediately, don’t include it.”

DO Send Additional Information Even If There Isn’t A Place To Do So — But Ask First:

The Common Application has a place for Additional Information, but what if your school isn’t on The Common App? Can you still send the op-ed you wrote for your town’s paper? Yes – just ask first. Siegel suggest calling up the admissions office and asking if they accept additional information. If they say no, don’t push, but if they say yes, ask where it should be sent and how it should be packaged. If you’re sending a DVD, clarify that this is okay. You wouldn’t want to send the documentary you made last year only to have it chucked in the garbage.

DO Send Something Related To Your Area Of Interest:

“If you know what your intended major is, you can include something related to that, especially if it’s a major in the arts,” says Siegel. “If you’re a journalism major, include your three best clips. If you plan on studying photography, include your three best photos. You can even attach a resume if there wasn’t already a place to do so. Additional information is not the same as additional essay. Don’t write three pages about why you love to take pictures.” You can use the personal essay section of the application for that. Siegel stresses that you don’t need to send your whole repertoire. The admissions staff is more likely to look at one article you wrote that you’re really proud of, rather than 20 articles you wrote for your school’s paper.

Read the rest of the tips at

Also on The Huffington Post: Top 10 Largest Colleges In America. See below slideshow.
1. Arizona State University--Tempe, Arizona: 58,371 students
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Arizona State University has four campuses, but the Tempe location has the largest enrollment with over 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Tempe is in metropolitan Phoenix, so you'll have the experiences of both going to a large university and going to college in an urban city, so if you're a small-town girl, ASU will definitely help you come out of your shell!

ASU is known for its football team, the Sun Devils, but their academic renown in engineering and nursing programs attracts scholars from all over the globe in addition to athletes on their way to the professional level. Arizona State boasts more than 13,300 out-of-state and international students, and has a freshman retention rate of over 80 percent, which is significantly higher than most undergraduate institutions. It's been ranked as one of the Top 100 world universities by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, and has top programs in a variety of concentrations. Its Tillman Center also offers one of the best support facilities for student veterans.

In a promotional video on ASU's website, Maisoon, a biochemistry major, says that Arizona State offers "such a unique energy" because her classes and extracurricular activities allow her to meet students from every part of the world and expand her own world view as well as theirs. Other students in the video agree - even though the student population is so large, the student body works together as a whole, which makes a large campus less intimidating.
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