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How the “Additional Information” Section Can Make Your Common App Complete

CCEdit_TorreyCCEdit_Torrey Editor Posts: 111 Editor
Want to share more details about yourself with colleges? The Common App's "Additional Information" section can help. https://www.collegeconfidential.com/articles/how-the-additional-information-section-can-make-your-common-app-complete/

Replies to: How the “Additional Information” Section Can Make Your Common App Complete

  • LoveTheBardLoveTheBard Registered User Posts: 1,962 Senior Member
    I don't agree with this. If a student can't convey a good sense of who they are and what they've done through their Common Application essay, their list of activities, and whatever supplemental essays a school requires, then they're doing something wrong. The last thing an Adcom wants to read is a cutesy "let me give you a taste of my sense of humor that didn't get conveyed elsewhere," nor does he/she want read about students' hobbies in painstaking detail.

    The Additional Information section should be used judiciously -- it's not an "overflow basket" for a student to include more than ten activities nor is it appropriate to consider it to be space for an additional essay. In my opinion, it should be used to explain anomalies in one's record that stem from personal and/or medical issues or other mitigating circumstances or remarkable achievements that go beyond the bounds of what can be conveyed in a list of EC activities and awards.
  • TiggerDadTiggerDad Registered User Posts: 1,634 Senior Member
    There's no right formula for the use of "Additional Information." I take this section literally, i.e., "Additional" but with a huge caveat of it needing to be significant or unique. This section should be used, in other words, when there are significant or unique information about the applicant that hasn't been already mentioned elsewhere in the application. The emphasis has to be placed on both "additional" and "significant" or "unique." Is the applicant's sense of humor, even if not repeated elsewhere in the application, "significant" or "unique" enough to merit the use of that section? Is the applicant's passionate hobby of collecting rocks? The problem with situations like this is not the question of whether the applicant thinks it's significant or unique but how it comes across the Adcoms. Ultimately, everything the applicant writes down in the application is up to the Adcoms' interpretation, after all. In that sense, there's always an element of risk involved in how we use the "Additional Information."

    In the situation of the student who got into several Ivy League, including Yale and other elite colleges, his passion for collecting Civil War-related model-soldier figurines in such way that his pursuit was featured in some specialty magazines that garnered his national exposure. This uniqueness was what set him apart from other applicants, and the use of the "Additional Information" was capitalized beautifully, in my opinion.

    In my son's case, he had nothing unique like this to fill the "Additional Information" section, but he did have significant achievements that overflowed to warrant, we deemed, the use of this section with a succinct resume. The bottomline is whether the use of the section worked effectively or not is in the results; and given the results, I'll have to believe that there was either no harm or was a positive "addition" that my son used the section the way he did. Again, there's no right formula; only the judicious use of it, if at all.

  • parentgeorgiaparentgeorgia Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    Agree withTigger Dad.."no right formula". I think that as long as it makes some meaningful testament to the candidate's
    life..it is worthwhile. Cannot make a general exclusion to the AI section as every candidate is presented individually and there are so many facets about ones life that, with some measure of reasonable discretion, are worth describing. For instance, our S wanted to convey that he worked full time every summer. An important bit of ones character that he thought was worth mentioning in addition to all of his otherwise listed substantial EC's. This AI section allowed for that.Just sharing another perspective.
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