How to Stand Out in College Applications

How to Stand Out in College Applications

How can you stand out in college applications?

  1. Maintain a strong academic record
  2. Highlight your achievements
  3. Participate in extracurricular activities
  4. Take on leadership roles
  5. Seek out mentors for your recommendation letters
  6. Be genuine and authentic


  • In the Philippines, where competition for universities is fierce, maintaining a strong academic record is vital.
  • By showcasing your genuine self and the impact you’ve made, you’ll create an application that truly reflects your potential and increases your chances of securing admission.
  • When it comes to extracurricular activities, make sure to explore options and prioritize your passion.

As of 2020 student enrollment in the Philippines was 1.83 million for private and 1.57 million for public institutions. In this sea of students, there are batches nationwide that are grappling through applying for various universities and colleges all over the county. So, if you’re feeling lost in the maze of college admissions, you’re not alone.

Beyond the standardized tests, the challenge lies in standing out. In this guide, we will help you learn how to stand out in college applications, helping you chart your course with clarity and confidence amidst the vast array of options.

Maintain a Strong Academic Record

Doing well in high school matters when applying for college. Some programs have specific academic requirements.

If your grades are solid, it shows you meet these requirements and are ready for the challenges of the program. This record isn’t a quick fix during the application phase; rather, it’s a reflection of your academic journey throughout high school.

Highlight Your Achievements

While strong grades are essential, it’s not the only thing that colleges and universities take a look at. You stand out from the rest through the numerous accomplishments you bagged through grade school and high school.

Be sure to highlight these awards, competitions, and leadership roles in diverse areas. Whether it’s leading a school organization or winning a national gymnastics competition, you can use these big wins to emphasize your passion, perseverance, and problem-solving abilities.

But keep your application manageable with every achievement. Choose 3-5 that resonate with your chosen program and demonstrate your unique strengths and values. Explain how your past experiences align with your college aspirations and how you aim to contribute to the university community. Show them how you’ll continue to be an achiever on their campus and in your chosen course.

Participate in Extracurricular Activities

Participate in Extracurricular Activities

One of the things you could do to stand out in college applications is to participate in extracurricular activities. But why it is so important? Because this is where you can showcase diverse skills and interests. These activities highlight qualities like leadership, teamwork, communication, and initiative, valuable beyond academics. Your active participation shows dedication and your ability to manage multiple commitments.

Are you supposed to join every club and organization in high school? No, of course not. Remember that it will always be quality over quantity. Choose a few activities where you can truly dedicate yourself and genuinely contribute.

Take on Leadership Roles

Participating in leadership roles enhances your college application by showcasing your ability to collaborate, take initiative, and guide others. It signals to admissions committees that you’re not just a passive participant but someone who actively contributes to their community.

Leadership roles can be in clubs, sports, or community service, demonstrating your commitment to making a positive impact. Moreover, it reflects your potential to bring leadership skills to the college environment, enriching campus life and fostering a sense of responsibility.

Admissions officers seek well-rounded individuals, and leadership experience adds depth to your overall profile, making you stand out.

Seek Out Mentors for Your Recommendation Letters

Select individuals who know you well and can provide specific, positive insights into your character, skills, and achievements. Opt for teachers, mentors, or employers who can speak to your academic abilities, work ethic, or personal qualities. Choose someone who can share anecdotes or examples that highlight your strengths and potential contributions to a college community.

You need to ensure that they have a positive impression of you, and ask if they can write a strong, personalized recommendation. It’s also good to consider diversity in perspectives, such as academic and personal viewpoints. This provides admission officers with a comprehensive portrayal of your capabilities, making your recommendation letters more impactful.

Be Genuine and Authentic

Participate in Extracurricular Activities

Set yourself apart by being true to who you are. Your authentic voice and story will capture attention and leave a lasting impression. Admissions officers are interested in knowing you, not just your accomplishments. Authenticity reveals your motivations, values, and future aspirations.

Instead of focusing solely on common achievements, share your personal story, challenges faced, and lessons learned. Let your hobbies, creative pursuits, and volunteer work showcase who you are beyond academics.

Acknowledging challenges and how you overcame them demonstrates resilience, growth, and the ability to learn from mistakes. If your chosen program is Architecture or Information Systems, express genuine enthusiasm. Avoid saying what you think they want to hear; instead, convey your true passion and curiosity about the field.

Embrace your individuality; it’s what makes you stand out.

Key Takeaway

Remember, college applications are a comprehensive picture of who you are as a student and potential future contributor. By starting early on your roadmap to college, you can significantly increase your chances of standing out and securing admission to your dream college.
Find your passion, and fuel your future. At CIIT, we offer programs designed to ignite your interests and equip you with the skills you need to succeed. Learn from industry experts, develop in-demand capabilities, and cultivate core values like integrity, innovation, and teamwork.

Don’t settle for just any college – invest in yourself at CIIT and unleash your full potential. Check out our college programs, contact us, and discover your future at CIIT.

Join our Open House!

Experience CIIT’s vibrant community of creators and innovators! 

Discover new ideas, unleash your potential, and build lasting connections that will pave the way for your future in arts, technology, and business.