Posts Tagged ‘college application’

5 things you need to check before you submit

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Common Application

’Tis the season for submitting those college applications, and in the whirlwind of school, sports, and squeezing in final ACT, SAT, and SAT Subject Tests, the college application process starts to feel like a high-speed race. You’re getting all of your ducks in a row—nailing those final test scores, getting recommendation letters, putting together your resume, throwing your activities onto the Common App, writing, editing, and re-writing your college essay and supplemental essays—and you cannot wait to hit that “SUBMIT” button on the Common App, so you can finally breathe a sigh of relief (and sleep at night). (more…)

The Perfect College Essay

Friday, August 31st, 2012
College Essay

College Essay

One of the many tough aspects of applying to schools revolves around crafting your college admissions essay.  It’s a daunting project – distilling yourself into around five hundred words and appearing confident, honest, inquisitive, and open.  College admissions officers turn to the personal statement as a means to find out about the sides of applicants that can’t be found in the rest of their college applicationTranscripts, test scores, recommendations, and resumes only tell part of the picture and the admissions officers want to fill in the rest.

How to begin? The first and most crucial component of your college essay is the topic.  The process of selecting a topic can be agonizing.  The truth is that the truth always wins out. Write about an experience or issue that you really care about and have thought about.  There is no substitute for authenticity.  Never write what you think the admissions officers want to hear because inevitably your essay will come across as forced or hollow.

Don’t shy away from adversity.  Often times crafting personal essays around an issue or problem you have faced and dealt with can prove to be the most illustrative of who you are.  Admissions officers are looking for a perfect person, they are looking for the real you.  They want to see what kind of asset you will be to their community.

This isn’t a persuasive five paragraph essay.  Over the course of high school you have been trained to write well crafted persuasive essays. Essays that have a thesis, supporting paragraphs topped by topic sentences, and summational conclusions.  Your personal statement is not a place for this form.  You want to tell a story with your college essay and allow it to follow the logic of whatever topic you have selected.  The best colleges essays should follow naturally and seamlessly,

A great way to begin, once you have selected your topic for your personal statement, is with a compelling anecdote.  A story of something that has happened to you, told actively and in a way that places your reader right in the heart of the action, can be a real attention grabber for a college admissions officer.  Once you have their attention, you can begin to unpack all the ways this story is significant to you, or the ways it illustrates the themes you are tackling.

Above all, trust yourself. You know yourself better than anyone.  Every person you encounter, from your parents to your friends, from your teachers to your guidance counselors, will have a different idea of that they think you should right about for your college essay.  Only you can say what will be an active and engaging essay that says something about you.

Lastly, put yourself in the place of the reader.  You want to engage the admissions officers and make your writing active and descriptive.  Use juicy adjectives in your college essay that engages your reader with a real sense of whats happening, and use the active forms of verbs for maximum impact.

If you keep these hints in mind, and trust your gut, you can write a totally killer personal statement.

Deferred from Early Decision

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

admissions

admission

What should I do if I was deferred from Early Decision? Is there anything I can do?

It’s the moment you’ve worked so hard for. You know the mail is coming, and with it news of your college admission status at your number one choice.  Sifting through the mail you find that dreaded little envelope informing you that you’ve been deferred.

Many people feel a sense of doom at this moment. Everything is lost, all your work has come to nothing, and all you want to do is curl up in the fetal position. This is the last thing you should do and feel.  While a deferment from early decision is the not the outcome you were looking for, it’s certainly not the worst that could have happened.

Although you may feel helpless and like there is nothing for you to do to increase your chances of being accepted in regular decision, you’re wrong.  There are concrete steps you can take to help your chances in the next round.  First, of all, keep working hard.  Admissions officers love to see a strong set of grades and strong continuity in extracurricular activities in the first semester of your senior year – a time when people tend to relax and not keep up the same efforts.

Secondly, write a letter. Take the time to draft a letter to the college admissions office of your first choice school that expresses how much you want to attend. Although you may feel angry or disappointed in the school you dreamed of attending, having the conviction the courage to restate all the compelling reasons you want to attend the school of your dreams is very impressive to a college admissions officer.

Lastly, don’t forget that there are so many wonderful colleges and universities that you can attend that will help you achieve everything you want for yourself. If, in the end of the day, you don’t end up attending the college you initially thought you would, it doesn’t mean that you won’t have an incredible four years of college.