It’s hard to believe that it’s already that time of year again. We’re not just talking about the time of year when you can order pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks or enjoy a Friday night football game with your “besties”, but fall is also when you can start filling out your college applications. At Butler, our Early Action 1 deadline is November 1.
I, along with most of the other admission counselors, would encourage you to get your application in sooner rather than later. We accept both our Butler University Freshman Application and the Common Application. Remember, it is free to apply online to Butler University! Getting your application done early will not only allow you to enjoy more of your senior year, but it will give you maximum consideration for all of our merit-based scholarships. Please know that we have no preference as to what application you use to apply to Butler.
The most important part of our application review is your academic preparation and performance. When reviewing your application, we look at the number of academic core courses (English, math, social science, science, and foreign language) you’ve taken through four years of high school, the level of those academic courses (AP, IB, honors, accelerated, etc.), and the grades you receive in these courses. Your senior year schedule is critical since it’s your last preparatory year before college, so make sure you have the best schedule possible. In other words, if you have three study halls or multiple office helper periods, you might want to think about substituting one of those for a math or science course. Remember, anything you can do to make yourself stand out from the application pool is a plus.
We also require a writing sample along with the application. At Butler, you can submit either an original essay based on one of the question prompts on the application, or submit a graded paper you’ve completed for a class (with your teacher’s comments and grade). In either case, you’ll want to submit a paper that allows us to hear from you in your own words. It’s the only time we get to hear from you in your own words during the application review, so make sure you are answering the “why” part of the question (you know, why this specific story is important to you), not just telling a story about “what” happened. Also, remember to proof your writing sample carefully. It can be extremely helpful to have a parent, guardian, teacher or counselor review your submission. Make sure that if you are submitting the same writing sample to more than one institution, you use “Search and Replace” to change the name of the first institution to the name of the next. And finally, remember that spell check only finds words that are truly misspelled, not misused…typing “candy stripper” as one of your volunteering accomplishments instead of “candy striper” puts a whole new spin on what you are trying to convey.
Your activities resume is important as it allows us to see how you balance what you do in the classroom with what you do in your free time. We are looking to see what’s important to you and what you might bring to the Butler campus. This activities resume can show us your leadership, your passion, your experience, or all of these. We don’t need to know every single thing you’ve done since you were 4 years old, but if you have been doing something for a long time (playing soccer since you could walk, playing piano since second grade, writing for a community blog or publication since seventh grade, etc.), let us know that.
While test scores (ACT or SAT) are only one piece of a much larger admission review, it is important that you have taken either the ACT with writing or the SAT (which includes writing automatically). We do not have a preference for either ACT with writing or SAT, but your application will not be complete until you have submitted an ACT or SAT score. If you have taken either test more than once, we will take the highest individual subscores on each section of the test and create a new composite/combined score. While test scores are a required part of the application process, they are typically neither the sole reason to admit nor deny a student’s application for admission.
Good luck and we look forward to reading your application!