11/11/2013 09:48 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Application Ethics

Thanksgiving will be here before we know it. I am thankful for everyone that reads my blog -- you are appreciated! For most seniors in high school this time of year is all about getting their applications together and completing them. So it seems like a good time to talk about application ethics.

There is so much pressure on students to get into the "right" college. What students need to understand is there isn't one "right" college. The best college for you is the one where you will be able to perform at your highest level. If you beef up your application to gain admittance, you should consider that being admitted is only the first step. Once admitted you have to be able to keep up in class and with assignments.

Here are some things you really do not want to do when completing applications:

• Don't have someone else write your essay. Colleges use the application essay for a couple of things. One is to get a better understanding of who you are but they are also assessing your writing skills. They need to find out about you and assess your skills not someone else's.

• Don't beef up your activities, the role you had in clubs or groups, or the awards you have won. Be proud of who you are and what you have accomplished. Trying to make yourself sound better is simply not worth it.

• Don't tell a college that you want to major in physics unless you really do. Some majors don't fill up as fast as others and it may be easier to gain admittance if the school thinks you want to go in that direction. This practice isn't fair to the college or to other applicants that really are looking for that major. Be honest about what you want.

• Don't tell a college that they are your first choice unless they are. Some colleges will consider your application more seriously if you state that they are your first choice. So if you are admitted, that college will be expecting you to attend.

• Once you have made your decision, don't forget to notify the other colleges that accepted you that you will not be attending. Other students are waiting for that spot. You've made your choice; give others the opportunity to make theirs.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. If you are still undecided about where to apply, talk to your extended family while they are gathered for Thanksgiving about their college experiences. It could help you.