1. Do Your Research
Before you apply, study up on what each program offers to make sure your preferred specialties, learning styles and locations are covered. You'll also want to visit the campus to get a sense of what life there is like.
2. Apply to More Than One School
Rank your favorites, and apply to your personal top three to five programs. If you get accepted to more than one, you'll be able to compare and contrast the programs and any financial aid packages to make an informed decision.
3. Apply Early
This is especially important if you're looking at a program with a rolling admissions process -- you don't want all the spaces to be filled before you send in your application! Applying early gives the admissions committee time to consider your application and may give you a leg up on getting scholarship money. Scholarship awards are awarded generously to applicants who apply before the priority scholarship deadline.
4. Be Yourself
Admissions committees look to create diverse student bodies, so be sure to list all your previous jobs, extracurricular activities, volunteer work and any other unique leadership roles you've taken on. Let your personality shine through in your application. You can bring your application to life by giving the admission committee the chance to get to know you. Most schools offer Open Houses, Virtual Webinars, Facebook Chats, and Shadow Days. These are all excellent ways for you to get to know the school and for the school to get to know you.
While showing off your unique style is a good thing, irregular spelling and grammar are not. Be sure to carefully edit and proofread your full application to avoid careless mistakes. These may be innocent, but they show a lack of attention to detail that points to a lack of effort -- and a quick rejection.