Be who you are and show who you are. Admissions committees are genuinely interested in the whole person — beyond what they read on your transcript or recommendations. Don’t be shy about your accomplishments and be sure to take the time to write an honest and thoughtful essay that is specific to that institution. Your portfolio needs to show the best work that you have. Get in touch with the admissions office, visit, and take a tour. Let them get to know you personally. And be sure to meet all of their application deadlines and requirements.