Tips for Creating a Strong Application


“What do they want me to say?”

“How long does my essay need to be?”

“Does anyone even read over all of this information?”

These are some of the questions that you may be asking yourself as you complete the application for Wake Forest University’s College LAUNCH for Leadership Program. When completing an application for any program, you may find yourself wondering what makes an applicant stand out.

Read below for some helpful tips about how to present yourself as a strong applicant to College LAUNCH! 

Take Your Time But Don’t Procrastinate

The strongest applications reflect thoughtfulness and thoroughness on behalf of the applicant. All information is submitted in its entirety and in a manner that says “I’ve taken my time to present the best application I can”. Small things like proper punctuation and capitalization show that the applicant has taken their time to do their best on the application. 

While taking your time is a great strategy, don’t use that as a reason to procrastinate. Set a realistic timeline for yourself to complete your application. For example: perhaps you set the goal of completing your application over the course of a week. To do this, work on the application in increments over the course of the week. 

Special Note for the LAUNCH Application:

Please remember that applications for College LAUNCH are reviewed on a rolling basis. Most admissions decisions are made within one week and, while we do enact a waiting list, we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible!

Be Yourself

Many applicants state that essays are one of the most stressful parts of any application. However, most admissions teams want you to use the essay portion of your application to tell us who you are! While there are certain components we look for in an essay (ex. thorough, at least two paragraphs in length, thoughtful, proper grammar, etc.) we are not searching for a certain response from an applicant. No essay has a “right” answer. We want you to share a perspective that is personal and meaningful to you.

Special Note for the LAUNCH Application:

The College LAUNCH application requires two essays. We recommend you look over all of the essay prompt options and choosing the two prompts that you believe give you the best opportunity to share your perspective and story.

Read the Application Carefully (and Ask Questions if You have Any!)

Many applications can be worked on over a period of time. This provides applicants the opportunity to read all of the application information carefully. Is there something in the application that doesn’t make sense to you? Reach out ask!

Special Note for the LAUNCH Application:

Please reach out to our team at if you have any questions. We are happy to answer any questions or clarify something that you are unsure of.

Double-Check Your Information

All done and ready to hit submit? Pause for a moment and look over your application to make sure every question is answered, there are no typos or errors, and that your application communicates accurate and thorough information about yourself. It may also be a good idea for you to have someone else look over your information (especially your essays), such as a teacher, school counselor, older sibling, friend, etc.

Special Note for the LAUNCH Application:

Did you know that LAUNCH Scholars are assigned journal prompts pulled directly from current admissions essays? Once their journal is submitted they receive individualized feedback to help them fine-tune their writing, highlight their strengths, and clearly communicate their individual perspective and experiences. 

Follow Up and Follow Through!

Admissions employees review many applications. Want to help your name be familiar? Reach out via email to tell us who you are and share why you are excited to apply. Be sure to check your email often in the event of notifications of any additional items we need to complete your application. Often, admissions decisions (and next steps) will be communicated via email, as well.

Special Note for the LAUNCH Application:

Reach out to the College LAUNCH for Leadership team at We look forward to hearing from you soon!


Written by Dr. Meleah Ellison, Program Manager, Wake Forest University College LAUNCH for Leadership