We recently told you about the dumbest questions you might see on a college application but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the process seriously.

CBS MoneyWatch has compiled a list of mistakes you should strive to avoid as you fill out a college application.

7 college application mistakes to avoid

The newest version of the Common Application, which more than 500 mostly private colleges and universities use, is now available to high school students who are eager to get a jump-start on their applications. Whether teenagers begin now or wait till the fall, it’s important that they make an excellent impression with their applications. It’s all too easy, however, to make mistakes.

With that in mind, here are seven application mistakes that the California Institute of Technology advised teenagers attending its summer academic camp to avoid.

1. Leaving any section of the application blank

Failing to provide information about why the applicant wants to attend a particular school paints him or her in a negative light. An applicant claims to be interested in the school, but has nothing to show for it.

2. Not sharing activity details

Teenagers need to share details about their activities. For instance, don’t assume that an admission rep will know what being president of the math team entails. A math team president could share that he led daily practices and facilitated local and regional competitions. The more detailed the description, the more useful the information.

3. Expecting your stats to do all the talking

Applicants shouldn’t assume that a school will be eager to accept them because they have great standardized test scores, grade point average and class rank. Beyond academic profiles, colleges want students who will become a part of the community.

4. Submitting application materials under more than one name

Only use your legal name when completing a college application, and instruct your counselor and teachers to do the same. By using variations of a legal name, your materials might be filed in different places.

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