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Five mistakes to avoid on your college application

College application deadlines are looming for millions of high school seniors, and younger students are already thinking ahead. The Monitor checked in with counselors and admissions officers to get their take on some of the most common mistakes students make when preparing for and applying to college.

Bedford, N.H., teen Kim Pollock goes through college materials in her bedroom Nov. 11.
Cheryl Senter/AP/File
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1. Being too 'well rounded'

For many parents this may come as a shock, but colleges don’t necessarily favor the students with the longest list of extracurricular activities.

“Right now, the buzz word is really being ‘angular,’ ” says Lee Bierer, an independent college adviser who runs College Admissions Strategies in Charlotte, N.C. “Colleges aren’t looking for what I call ‘serial joiners’ ” who simply show up at various club meetings, she says. “What they’re looking for is a sustained interest, a commitment, responsibility, taking on a leadership role, showing commitment.”

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