So you’ve decided you want to go to college and maybe you even know what you want to study- great! Applying for a college course after leaving school or being out of education for a while can seem daunting, but you’re making a decision to move forward with your life and improve your prospects (and good for you). So just how do you write that winning college application?


  • Do get a partner, friend, teacher, colleague, older family member, tutor, boss, or other trusted person to read over your college application. You want a “critical friend” – someone who will help you increase your chances of success by pointing out the areas you need to improve.
  • Do mention relevant work experience or anything else which shows your passion for your subject. Applying for a footwear design course? Definitely mention that Saturday job you’ve had in a shoe shop, or your blog dedicated to street style.
  • Do check your spelling, punctuation, and grammar. As a rule, keep your sentences simple and easy to read. Steer clear of jargon or big words you include just to show off – clear, straightforward and correct English is definitely what you want to include here.
  • Do show off your research. Look at what’s involved on your chosen course and mention in your application the parts which most excite you – for example that module on analogue photography, or the opportunity to carry out a research project on your own.


  • Don’t include an inspirational quotation – it doesn’t matter if it’s Gandhi, Shakespeare, or song lyrics. It looks cheesy and it just wastes space on your application form, because it doesn’t tell your tutors anything about you or why you’re right for the course.
  • Don’t waste space in the personal statement by telling the college again about your exam results. They’ve got their own section on the form so you don’t need to repeat it here.
  • Don’t be tempted to lie if you haven’t quite got the right grades or you haven’t got as much work experience as you’d like. You’ll need to produce evidence (such as your exam certificates) and you risk looking pretty untrustworthy or having a course offer withdrawn if you’ve not been truthful.
  • Don’t worry if you haven’t got your maths and English passes just yet. Leicester College are the experts in getting people through these must-have qualifications. In summer 2016, 1,698 candidates sat their GCSE English and/or maths with us.