Education: Crunch Time For Grads

Late October can be the spookiest of seasons for you high-school seniors--and not just because your kid brother's dressing up as SpongeBob again. College applications are coming due, and the pressure can be terrifying. What if your extracurriculars sound dorky? What if your earnest community service reads as Machiavellian? Some educators joke about it. "No Yale for you," said one teacher after spying a misplaced comma on a student's essay. Since the deadline for some early-admissions programs is Nov. 1, it's too late to sign up for Latin. But here's some last-minute advice from admissions experts:

OK, so none of these strategies will make up for low SATs. But they will help you make a good impression on the people who count the most in the admissions game.