Express remorse when the infraction is fresh

Many college applications ask if you’ve ever been subject to a disciplinary action while in high school.  And as I’ve written before, the strongest responses to those questions come when a student takes responsibility for the infraction, expresses remorse, and describes what he or she has learned from the experience.

But those expressions of remorse will carry a lot more weight if you’ve taken responsibility and apologized long before you had to describe the incident on a college application.

If you’ve been disciplined at school, express your remorse now—to your teacher, counselor, principal, or whoever else had to do the disciplining. It will give more weight to your promise to the college that you feel badly about what you did and that you’ve learned something from the experience.