Everyone wants to send in a great college application. Most of the questions on the application are straightforward and easy for students to answer. However, there is one part of the application that confuses a lot of students: additional information. College applications might title this section a little different, but they are all asking the same thing: “do you have more information to share?”
The additional information section can be a valuable part of the application if used correctly. However, many students do not know what information they should and should not include in this section. Here are some do’s and don’t’s of the additional information section on college applications.
DON’T repeat information that has already been included.
College admissions officers read a lot of applications and sometimes have to go through the applications quickly. Therefore, information does not need to be repeated if it was already included on the application. It can be redundant and some admissions officers will not appreciate reading the same information multiple times on your application.
DO talk about red flags on your application.
Did your grades fluctuate sometimes during your high school career? If something might be a little off on your college application, explain the circumstances. Give the admissions committee a little more information so they can see the full picture of your academic career.
DO answer any questions admissions officers might have after reading through your application.
Maybe you changed schools during high school or you stopped participating in an extracurricular activity. These types of things might have an admissions officer asking himself or herself, “what happened?” If you believe an admissions officer might have a question about you while reading through your application, address the possible question in the additional information section.
DO include anything you think the admissions officer should know.
Students who have a learning disability or other extenuating circumstance may choose to disclose the information in the additional information section. If you believe sharing this information will be beneficial for your application, it may be a good idea to share.
DON’T write another essay.
If you could not choose what essay prompt you liked best, some students might want to send in two essays. However, if the college does not ask for an addition essay, they probably do not want to receive an additional essay. Instead, choose your best essay and include it in the essay portion of the application.
DO leave the section blank if you have nothing new to share.
If you covered everything in the application, it is okay to leave the additional information section blank. The additional information section is optional which means it is okay to leave it blank. Repeating information that was already included may not give the admissions officer the best impression of you as an applicant.
DO talk to your counselor if you’re unsure.
If you are not sure if you should include information in the additional information section, talk with your school counselor. Your school counselor may know your situation, as well as how admissions officers might receive the admission information, and provide recommendation. In addition to advising you to include something or not, they may be able to help you choose the right words to describe your situation.
Think before you decide to include something in the additional information section of your college applications. The section is not necessary for everyone, but if you do choose to use the section, make sure it add positively to your college application.