Here is an interesting take from another college admissions counselor who also happens to be a lawyer. Steve Goodman, a counselor in Washington DC advises students to make a small mistake on their college application to convey authenticity to the colleges. Since colleges are looking for the “real” you, making a mistake, which no one would purposely do, makes you seem more authentic.

Although I understand why Mr. Goodman is making such a recommendation, I would advise against such a tactic. Students should be trying to convey who they are to the colleges without the use of the pretend mistake. Writing a strong essay, getting appropriate recommendations, and properly completing your application are all ways to communicate the real you. Besides, mistakes are common enough without trying to make a mistake that you might come off looking like you didn’t care enough in the application to avoid all of the mistakes. Moreover, this is a very fine line to walk. You want a little mistake, but not too big a mistake. What spelling error is appropriate and what makes you look uneducated? The biggest problem I have with this is by faking a mistake you are not conveying who you are but rather try to fake who you really are.


Do colleges play games in the application process? Sure they do. But that doesn’t mean that you need to play games such as fake mistakes to convey the person behind the application.

Be yourself and you are more likely to be accepted at and enjoy attending the right college for your needs.

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