By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As high school seniors approach their college applications with anticipation and uncertainty, it’s important to keep in mind what the people at the other end of the process consider when they review applications for admission to their colleges.

After talking with Don Honeman, Dean of Admissions at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, I’ve learned a bit about how they view the process. It’s clear that along with presenting a strong academic record, applicants should focus on those things that are distinctive about the colleges they’re selecting.

For example, as an urban liberal arts research university, Clark places value on community service experience and emphasizes a background reflecting the kinds of hands-on learning that can be offered by a research institution.

The advice that the Dean shared is simple: present your academic strength to the colleges you’re applying to but complement that with evidence that you value the same things that make those colleges unique and distinctive.

Watch & Listen LIVE