Posts Tagged ‘applying to college’

How to Showcase Your Diversity in Your College Essay

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

200394126-001College campuses are striving to increase the diversity of their classes each year, believing that diversity enhances the multiple perspectives that a liberal arts education develops, as well as expanding knowledge and preparing students for life in a global community.

So what does this mean to you? This information can be used as an advantage in your college application; it is crucial that you demonstrate that you’ll bring something unique to campus and help create a microcosm of our diverse planet. (more…)

How Many Colleges are Too Many to Apply to?

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013
Applying to college

Applying to college

107.  That’s the exact answer to that question; 107 colleges are too many to apply to.  Of course though, this exact answer is unhelpful as you already knew it.  A sarcastic blogger who herself applied to more than a dozen but less than a score back in her (hey?)day, didn’t need to tell you that.  You already knew that 107 colleges are too many to apply to, but the other answer–the inexact answer about how it depends on you and your goals and your precise situation–that answer is so inexact!  And that’s what we college aspirants like to avoid: inexactitude.  What a pickle, what a pickle. (more…)

How to Handle the Common App Extracurricular Essay

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular Activities

It’s one of the only two essays on the Common App proper, but it doesn’t get much attention. The extracurricular essay—that 1000 character short essay on the Common App that asks you to briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences” just doesn’t get a lot of love.

The College Essay” refers to the Personal Statement—the approximately 500-word main essay that the Common App requires applicants to upload, and each college and university has their own supplement, complete with supplemental essays that run the gamut from “Why Tufts?” (Tufts, 2012) to “So where is Waldo, really?” (U Chicago, 2012). The extracurricular essay often gets overlooked (some students and parents aren’t even aware that it’s there until they look at the Common App for the first time). To see this little essay as a throwaway, however, is a big mistake, and a missed opportunity. (more…)

Writing a College Essay

Friday, March 30th, 2012

What are some good tips to writing a successful school essay?

If you find yourself struggling with school essay assignments, and everyone does, there are some helpful guidelines you can follow to craft a successful essay. The first essay tip is simply to use all the time you are allotted. Most teachers will give you a few days to a week to work on a paper and you should use all that time. Your teacher is expecting you to.  Even if that means only thinking about the assignment at the beginning, you need to begin the intellectual process of crafting an essay as soon as you are given the assignment.

College Essay

College Essay

Make one point in your essay.  Every successful English paper or history paper is centered on a singular thesis. This isn’t to say you can articulate many ideas about a subject along the way, but the focus of your writing must be unitary for your ideas to cohere.  Once you’ve boiled your ideas down to a singular, central thesis, you can begin to plan your essay.

As I just said, plan your essay. Don’t start writing an essay in blind – make an outline.  Plan out everything you are going to say, in what order, and what supporting evidence you are going to use to back it up. You must chart the path of your argument to be sure you hit all your points in a coherent, logical flow. That way you can we sure your essay is as full as possible.

Make your essay as full as possible. Most assignments at school include a page expectation and you should aim for the maximum allowed. If an assignment expects a 5-8 page paper, deliver an 8 page paper. It’s a way you can show your teacher that you have fully developed an argument and maximized the allowed space to defend it.

Lastly, write multiple drafts. Only by editing and re-writing can you ensure that you are delivering a proof read, grammatically correct paper that is stylistically mature. All good writers edit their work intensely and create the most effective, clearest prose possible to persuade their readers of a particular thesis.

When to Apply to College

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

What is the right time to apply to college?  Are there advantages and disadvantages to different times?

College application

College application

As students end their junior year of high school and begin to look around the corner to their senior year, the topic foremost on their minds tends to be college. Within that, students and parents are undergoing the process of creating and editing a college list. Over the course of college visits, reading brochures, talking to friends, college counselors, and family, students are forming an idea of the kind of school they want to attend. Then comes the decision of applying to college early or not.

There are two kinds of early decision options open to applicants in the college process.  One is early decision, which requires a student to submit his or her application around November 1st of his or her senior year. The student will then usually be notified by December15th whether the college accepted, rejected or deferred them to regular decision. There are a couple of big advantages to early decision. The first is that the acceptance rate tends to be higher in this round than in the regular decision round.

The second is that if you are accepted your college process is over. Early decision is binding, meaning that if you are accepted you must attend that school. This is also the disadvantage of this option, as you must be absolutely certain about the school to which you are applying.

Another admission option is early action, which operates in the same way as early decision except for the fact that admission is non-binding. You can be accepted to a school via early admission, and still apply to other schools and ultimately attend another college if you choose. The draw back to early admission is that the acceptance rate is not as high as early decision.

Finally, you can apply via regular decision. The application will be due by January 1st and you will find out in the spring.  You can apply to as many schools as you would like and the acceptance rates are what they are depending on the school. There is no right answer to the question of when you should apply to colleges, it really all depends on how certain you are in your choice of school. If you feel like you need time and options, go ahead and wait to apply in the regular decision round.